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CMS contractors to delay payment processing


By Matthew DoBias
Posted: June 14, 2010 - 11:00 am ET
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The CMS has instructed its contractors to hold physician payment claims through June 17, keeping at bay a 21.2% pay cut that could soon be averted by congressional action.

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“We understand that the delayed processing of Medicare claims may present cash flow problems for some Medicare providers,” according to a CMS e-mail to congressional staffers. “However, we expect that the delay, if any, beyond the normal processing period will be only a few days.”

The CMS first told its contractors in late May to hold claims processed on June 1 and for the first 10 business days after. The House passed legislation on May 28 that replaces the scheduled reduction with positive updates through 2011. But the measure has stalled in the Senate, which could vote on the bill later this week.

President Barack Obama on Saturday used his weekly address to press lawmakers for action. “For years, I have said that a system where doctors are left to wonder if they'll get fairly reimbursed makes absolutely no sense,” the president said. “And I'm committed to permanently reforming this Medicare formula in a way that balances fiscal responsibility with the responsibility we have to doctors and seniors.”

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