Tag Archives: medicare

News from the Hill – March 2011, First Edition

Social Work Reinvestment Act Reintroduced in 112th Congress The Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act (HR 1106/S. 584) was reintroduced on World Social Work Day, March 15, 2011.  This legislation was first introduced in the 110th Congress, and was important then. It is now even more timely and critical. We are asking for your ... Read More »

As Congress Struggles, CMS Resumes Processing Medicare Claims

Faced with several more days of congressional debate, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has begun processing payments for Medicare Part B claims for services delivered beginning June 1, 2010 and afterward, including those of physicians and clinical social workers. For the third time this year, Congress has been stymied in its efforts to pass legislation that would ... Read More »

Support Essential Extenders Legislation, H.R. 4213

Action Requested Email your targeted Senator today and urge they support critical extenders legislation, H.R. 4213. Target Senators: Bayh (IN), Brown (MA), Collins (ME), Menendez (NJ), Nelson (NE), Shaheen (NH), Snowe (ME) and Warner (VA).   Background Congress has struggled for weeks over a sprawling “extenders bill” caught between conflicting needs to reduce deficit spending and extend several key expiring ... Read More »

News from the Hill – May 2010, Second Edition

Political Climate The primary season began in earnest on Tuesday, May 18 and we learned several important lessons that night.  For one, voter turnout was not particularly high, defying the expectations of many observers who believed voter anger would voice itself loudly at the first opportunity.  Second, the night clearly went better for Democrats than it did for Republicans.  The ... Read More »

Breaking Congressional News: CMS Prepares to Hold Medicare Provider Claims; Congress Fails to Pass Essential Legislation

Urgent action on a bill that includes a provision postponing the scheduled payment rate cuts to Medicare Part B providers, known as the SGR formula, has been delayed due to opposition to the high cost of the item. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which administers the program, announced today that it will delay payment of claims to ... Read More »

News from the Hill – May 2010, First Edition

Political Climate With the health care debate now behind us, Capitol Hill and the Obama Administration have moved on to other things.  Issues of great significance include a pending Supreme Court nomination, fluctuating news on employment, and several Congressional primary races that will give shape to the November general election.  At this point in the year, many Members of Congress ... Read More »

Support Incentive Payments for Clinical Social Workers in Medicare/Medicaid

Take Action Today! Action Requested Contact your Representative today about signing on as a cosponsor to H.R. 5040, the “HIT Extension for Behavioral Health Services Act.” Background Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) has introduced bi-partisan legislation along with Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), a clinical psychologist, called the Health Information Technology Extension for Behavioral Health Services Act of 2010 (H.R. 5040). The ... Read More »

Congress Passes Bill Protecting Medicare Practitioners from Imminent Fee Cut: CMS to Resume Processing April Claims

On April 15, 2010, President Obama signed into law the “Continuing Extension Act of 2010.”  The new law extends through May 31, 2010 the zero percent update to the Medicare “Physician” Fee Schedule (MPFS) which was in effect for claims with dates of service from Jan. 1, 2010, through March 31, 2010. The new law is retroactive to April 1, 2010 ... Read More »

Update on Medicare “Physician Fee” Payments

March proved yet another tumultuous month for congressional consideration of legislation establishing Medicare payment rates. Physicians, clinical social workers and other health professionals that bill Medicare Part B independently face a scheduled rate cut of 21 percent on April 1. Fortunately, this week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) delayed the scheduled formula payment cuts until after Congress ... Read More »

Senate Restores Medicare Psychotherapy Rates until December

Last week Congress halted the so-called Medicare “physician fee cut” that set Part B payment rates for clinical social workers and all independent Medicare outpatient providers with passage of an extension of Medicare physician payments at last year’s level through March 31.  On Wednesday, March 10, the Senate passed a critical extension of these  provisions (H.R. 4213).  Eight Republicans voted ... Read More »