Medicare physicians will still get their regular paycheck this week despite a law that was supposed to trigger a 21% cut in wages on April 1.

“CMS is taking steps to limit the impact on Medicare providers and beneficiaries by holding claims for a short period of time beginning on April 1,” The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in a statement. “Holding claims for a short period of time allows CMS to implement any subsequent Congressional action while minimizing claims reprocessing and disruption of physician cash flow in the event of legislation addressing the 21% payment reduction.”

Under current law, electronic claims are not paid sooner than 14 calendar days (29 days for paper claims) after the date of receipt.


Congress revives efforts to fix doc payment formula

Congress has been working on a replacement for the outdated sustainable growth rate formula for several months, pushing past the April 1 deadline with a final bill for President Barack Obama to sign. The bill permanently fixes Medicare reimbursement for doctors and includes a two-year extension for a popular children's health insurance program and money for community health centers.

The House passed the bill with a 392-37 vote, and it awaits a Senate review.

In addition to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule adjustment, other provisions affecting providers were set to expire April 1, including exceptions to the outpatient therapy caps, add-on payments for ambulance services, payments for low volume hospitals, and payments for Medicare dependent hospitals.