BREAKING NEWS: Senate Approves "Doc Fix" Bill, Delay of ICD-10

 

Yesterday the U.S. Senate voted to pass the House-approved "doc fix" bill that will prevent a 24 percent cut in reimbursements to physicians treating Medicare beneficiaries that was set to go into effect on April 1. The year-long patch marks the 17th time Congress has enacted a temporary fix to the SGR and replaces the reimbursement cut with a 0.5 percent update through December 31, 2014 and a zero percent update from January 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.

In addition to the delay in cuts to Medicare fees, the bill passed today imposes at least a one-year postponement in the deadline to implement the nationwide conversion from ICD-9 to ICD-10 diagnostic and procedure coding. Slated to begin October 1, 2014, the provision prolongs the use of more detailed diagnostic codes that will more accurately reflect the severity of illnesses and any additional complications or conditions and are said to be essential to the transition to a more value-based healthcare payment system.

The bill now heads to the President's desk for signature, which is expected shortly. If you have questions regarding this issue, please email [email protected]

 

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