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President Obama signed June 25 a bill that temporarily rescinds the 21.3 percent Medicare pay cut for physicians that went into effect June 1 and replaces it with a 2.2 percent update through Nov. 30. The best part for coders is that claims submitted during June before this bill was signed will automatically be reprocessed at the new rate.

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the new law establishes 2.2 percent update to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) payment rates from June 1 through Nov. 30, 2010.  Medicare contractors have been instructed by CMS to discontinue processing claims at the negative update rates and to temporarily hold all claims after June 1 until the new rates are tested. CMS says it expects processing will resume by July 1.

A CMS e-mail issued to contractors June 25 said, “Claims containing June 2010 date of service which have been paid at the negative update rates will be reprocessed as soon as possible.”