Congress Passes Permanent SGR Fix
The Senate finally passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act to permanently end the SGR sys- tem. President Obama previously expressed support for the bill and is expected to quickly sign it.
The bill will cancel the impending 21% cut that was to take effect today. In its place, it stipulates a 0.5% increase in Medicare reimbursement starting this summer. The rate will continue to increase at 0.5% per year until at least 2019. The bill also extends the “KX” exception to the physical therapy cap, allowing additional therapy coverage for patients, and provides additional funding to maintain the CHIP program (Children’s Health Insurance Pro- gram).
Medicare held claims with dates of service of April 1st and later in order to provide time for Congress to act. However, they may have released some claims today for payment at the 21% reduced level. Medicare stated that they will automatically reprocess any of these claims for additional reimbursement.