Senate passed SGR patch and ICD-10 One Year Delay

The Senate passed legislation (H.R. 4302), which delays for one year a 24% cut to Medicare physician payments resulting from the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. The legislation also pushed the ICD-10 compliance deadline to October 1, 2015. The SGR legislation provisions were:

  • Extends  the 1.0 work Geographic Practice Cost Index (GPCI) floor and therapy cap exceptions process for one year
  • Delays the transition to ICD-10 for at least one year
  • Creates new Medicare policies for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests
  • Puts in place “appropriate use” criteria for certain imaging services
  • Creates a new process for identifying “misvalued codes” in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

For more information, access the legislation available here.

Congress passes fee fix, avoids 27% physician pay cut

Physicians are safe from the impending 27.4% cut to their Medicare payments set to hit March 1 thanks to Congress passing a temporary ‘doc fix’ Friday through the end of 2012.

The vote to extend the payroll tax holiday bill and keep the current $34.0376 conversion rate through Dec. 31 comes on the heels of intense debate among Congress members as to whether preventing the pay cut was fiscally sound.  The $150 billion bill failed to include deeper cuts requested by GOP Congress members but remained largely budget neutral.

Congress originally approved a two-month fix that was set to expire Feb. 29. Once signed into law, the new fee fix will be good through Dec. 31.