UPDATE—Short-Term Medicare Payment Fix Passes Senate, Becomes Law

March 26, 2014

UPDATE 3/31—The Senate has passed the House-approved temporary Medicare payment fix 64-35. The measure now heads to President Barack Obama, who is expected sign it into law. The 13-month patch includes several health-related extenders and riders, including a one-year delay of ICD-10 implemenation until October 1, 2015.

APMA remains a strong supporter of a permanent resolution to this issue that would include provisions of our HELLPP Act, and all APMA members should use our eAdvocacy site to send a message to their elected officials today, tomorrow, and every day until a long-term solution is found. This problem needs to be fixed now rather than waiting until April 2015 to take new action.

Previous coverage—
The US House and Senate are expected to approve a one-year "doc fix" this week to keep Medicare payment levels at their current level and avert the 24-percent payment cut scheduled to take effect April 1. Instead, providers would see a 0.5-percent increase in payments through December 31, 2014. Payments would then revert to their current levels through April 15, 2015. The bill will most likely come to the House floor on Thursday, and it is not clear when the Senate will vote on it. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said today that passing the short-term bill does not rule out work on a long-term fix.

The bill would also delay the ICD-10 transition until October 2015. While the delay does allow for additional time for preparation, it does pose a significant financial and resource impact on entities that were heavily invested in the transition. APMA encourages its members to continue to use the numerous resources it has made available for the eventual transition.

APMA continues to work with members of Congress to replace the flawed sustainable growth rate formula as well as any burdensome requirements that adversely affect our members, including our collaborative goal of an orderly ICD-10 transition. APMA urges its members to use our eAdvocacy tool to push for permanent Medicare payment reform, and other legislative reforms related to podiatric medicine.

The bill is available to view online. If you have any questions, please contact APMA's Legislative Advocacy department at advocacy@apma.org.

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