MedPAC Advises 1% Update for Physicians

In its annual report to Congress, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended a 1-percent payment update for the physican fee schedule services in 2012.

MedPAC also recommended 1 percent updates in 2012 for outpatient dialysis centers, and hospice. For ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), Congress should implement a 0.5 percent increase in calendar year 2012 while requiring ASCs to submit cost and quality data. Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) would get no update in fiscal year 2012, according to MedPAC, which also called for Congress to establish a quality incentive payment for SNFs and for SNFs to report more accurate diagnostic and service-use information. MedPAC criticized the amount of fraud that occurs in home health agencies and advised HHS to redesign how it pays for home healthcare. The Commission also recommends that HHS investigate financial relationships and patterns of referrals between nursing homes and hospice and asked Congress to change Medicare’s payment to hospice.

This means that the anesthesia rates will go up slightly in 2012.

Anesthesia Billing: Referring Provider Edits Delayed

Anesthesia and Pain practices can breath a sigh of relief. The referring provider claims edits scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2011 have been delayed until July 5th.

Anesthesiologists and CRNAs who order or refer services for Medicare beneficiaries must be enrolled in the Medicare Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) and must be of a type/specialty that is eligible to order/refer services for Medicare beneficiaries. The new implementation date for Phase 2 is being delayed and will not begin on January 3, 2011. A placeholder date of July 5, 2011 has been stated in the revised CR 6417.