Sequestration dings physician reimbursement 2% for Medicare
As part of the federal budget sequester that took effect on March 1, Medicare reimbursement for health care providers, including hospitals and physicians in private practice, will be cut by 2% effective April 1. A representative from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimated the cuts will cost physicians, hospitals and other providers $11 billion in lost revenue.
“Physicians continue to face drastic cuts from the [sustainable growth rate] SGR, and an additional 2% cut coming from sequestration further threatens access to care for patients and prevents needed improvements in Medicare,” American Medical Association president Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, stated in a press release. “Creating a larger gap between Medicare payment rates and the cost of delivering care will stifle innovation, reduce access to care and increase dysfunction within the Medicare program.”
Currently, it is unclear whether the 2% cut will include allowed charges under the Medicare physician fee schedule, according to the release. Also unclear is whether physician Medicare claims payments will be affected, whether copayments for Medicare beneficiaries will be affected and whether the cuts affect claims with a date of service of April 1 as opposed to claims payments made on or after that deadline.
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