Medical societies urge CMS to pay past reimbursements to physicians

December 15, 2010

Medical societies representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia and 57 national medical specialty societies have requested that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services use the $200 million from Congress to provide physicians with overdue Medicare reimbursements for payments that they should have received in 2010. The funds come from the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 that Congress recently passed.

 

Medical societies representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia and 57 national medical specialty societies have requested that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services use the $200 million from Congress to provide physicians with overdue Medicare reimbursements for payments that they should have received in 2010. The funds come from the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 that Congress recently passed.

“After weathering a year filled with uncertainties from continuous threats of cuts to Medicare payments, many physicians are not in a position to rely on IOUs from the government,” says Cecil B. Wilson, MD, American Medical Association president. The organizations wrote a letter to the secretary of Health and Human Services, citing the changes from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and corrections in the final 2010 physician fee schedule rule. In the letter, they summarized the 6 provisions in the ACA, which state that physicians are to be reimbursed at new payment levels. According to the letter, the increased levels would be retroactive and would apply through all of 2010. The past due payments had never been processed, and physicians are still waiting to receive their reimbursements from the first half of 2010.

With 78% of office-based physicians in smaller practices, the unpaid reimbursements are having a substantial impact on practices that struggle to keep their practices viable and care for Medicare patients, Wilson says.