ICD-10 Delay Ready To Be Signed Into Law
Written by Editor   
Monday, March 31, 2014 12:00 AM

The Senate voted Monday, March 30, 2014, to delay scheduled cuts in physician payments under Medicare and move the switch to ICD-10 billing codes to October 2015.  That chamber passed a bill that delays by 12 months pending reimbursement cuts under Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula. Physicians were to face 24% cuts in Medicare payments starting Tuesday unless Congress acted.

The House passed the same legislation last week, despite strong opposition from organized medicine which has formed a unified front, clamoring for a permanent SGR repeal. The bill delaying the SGR's cuts and ICD-10 implementation is expected to be signed into law by President Obama.

But the bill the Senate passed Monday does more than simply delay the SGR's planned cuts, including:

  • Delays till Oct. 1, 2015, the switch to ICD-10
  • Provides a 0.5% Medicare pay bump over that 12-month period
  • Revalues certain physician payment codes
  • Creates a program designed to promote proper use of diagnostic tests and treatments and discourage their overuse
  • Authorizes a multistate pilot program designed to raise standards for mental health services and improve integration of care

The legislation also pushes back recovery audits of allegedly unnecessary claims until March 2015.

Monday's patch is the 17th patch to the ill-designed SGR formula.

Source:  http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/Medicare/45043