While a proposed "patch" to scheduled reductions in the 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) may be imminent, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is implementing a 10-business-day claims-processing hold just in case Congress doesn't take action to prevent the reductions before a March 31 deadline.
In an e-mail alert sent to various groups, CMS states that it is "hopeful that there will be congressional action to prevent the negative update from taking effect on April 1, 2014. CMS has instructed the Medicare Administrative Contractors to hold claims containing services paid under the MPFS for the first 10 business days of April (ie, through April 14, 2014)."
The hold would only affect MPFS claims with dates of service of April 1, 2014, and later. CMS believes that the hold will have minimal impact on provider cash flow, because under current law, clean electronic claims are not paid any sooner than 14 calendar days after the date of receipt. All claims for services delivered on or before March 31, 2014, will be processed and paid under normal procedures, regardless of any congressional actions.
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