The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has postponed implementation of a $1,500-per-beneficiary cap on Part B outpatient rehabilitation services until July 2003, the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care said. The cap, passed as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, already had been delayed by congressional moratoriums in 2000 and 2001 and was scheduled to become effective in January. "We were notified last week that (the) CMS, because of administrative and system problems, could not track individual charges of beneficiaries under the cap, and accordingly would have to delay enforcement until July of 2003," said Peter Clendenin, executive vice president of the 130-member association, which represents suppliers to the post-acute-care industry. The association was prepared to file a lawsuit to prevent the CMS from moving forward with the caps, Clendenin said. The CMS issued a brief memo on the delay Dec. 23 but did not mention a new implementation date or the system problems allegedly behind the delay. At deadline, CMS officials were unavailable for comment. -- by Jeff Tieman
Medicare delays Part B outpatient rehab cap
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