Fifty-six medical organizations signed a letter protesting a new CMS policy starting Jan. 4, 2010, which will not pay claims for services when the referring physician is not in its enrollment database. According to the Medical Group Management Association, recent Medicare claims have been marked for nonpayment if the healthcare provider had enrolled in Medicare before the database, known as the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System or PECOS, was developed in 2003. The letter stated that this affects as many as 200,000 of the more than 793,000 physicians and other healthcare providers enrolled in Medicare. The letter also stated that the new policy was “quietly announced,” and its first phase took effect Oct. 5, causing “considerable confusion, even panic” among the members of the organizations signing the letter. “We believe the new policy impedes patient access to care, bogs down the enrollment system further, and presents significant workflow challenges to physicians and other healthcare practitioners who will have little way to be sure whether another physician is in the PECOS database,” the letter concluded.
Late News: Doc groups sign letter opposing new CMS payment policy
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