mental health professionals, and other Medicare providers feared
gridlock in Washington given the impending change in leadership in
the House of Representatives. But Congressional leaders have managed
to iron out a year-long agreement, avoiding a reimbursement cut that
could have lopped off as much as 29.5% of treatment fees.
fee cut is on the table every year, but is always averted by
Congress at the eleventh hour. It looked to be a bigger threat in
the year gone by because the fix for 2010 wasn’t finalized until
June, after which payments were updated retroactively.
fix was only good through December 1 of 2010, and provider advocates
worried that the lame duck Congress would leave it for the new
leadership to grapple with. Instead, the new fix passed, and will
run through 2011.
the good news,” says Laura Groshong, director of government
relations for the Clinical Social Work Association (CWA). “We do
need to have a permanent change for this problem, but this is better
than going month-to-month, as we were.”
still a fly in the ointment, however. Medicare officials announced
that they will be updating their provider list and will require all
eligible providers--psychiatrists, psychologists, and CSWs--to
trying to get a cleaner system,” explains Groshong. “Some of the
people on their rolls weren’t actually providing services anymore.
And they want people to move to electronic claims.”
original deadline to reapply was in January of 2011, Groshong says,
but it looks like that will be extended again.
details on that, see the website for the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services (CMS), here: www.tinyurl.com/pf1210a.
can contact Laura Groshong in Seattle, WA, at (206)524-3690, email: