Saturday, June 19, 2010

The "Doc Fix:" Jury-rigged

We reported yesterday that the perennial "Doc Fix" was scuttled, but that appears to have been premature:

"After a week of partisan wrangling, the Senate on Friday passed legislation to spare doctors a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments looming for months. But the last-ditch effort came too late."

At issue is the fact that, although the upper chamber voted to temporarily extend last year's reimbursement rates, its little brother can't approve its own version until (at least) next week. And since our august legislators lost their little game of chicken with the 21% cut in those rates, CMS has no choice but to process claims from the last few weeks under the drastically lower numbers.

As our favorite Medical Office Manager noted earlier, her (and presumably her colleagues') "revenue cycle has been a roller coaster this year; I cannot count on revenue coming in in a timely manner." Now she can't even count on what that revenue will be.

Never fear, though, all these providers will have to do is to resubmit each and every claim, and wait with anxious anticipation for those additional dollars to roll in.

Meanwhile, the "D'oh! Award" goes to the AMA, which opined that the "continuing financial uncertainty may lead some doctors to stop taking new Medicare patients."

Ya think?
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