New law prevents 24% cut to Medicare reimbursement rates and postpones ICD-10 implementation

April 4, 2014, APA announcement:  President Obama has signed a new law – Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (H.R. 4302) – averting the 24-percent Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) cut in Medicare provider payments that was scheduled to take effect on April 1. The bill, whose passage came down to the wire, was negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).
The new law postpones the SGR cut until March 31, 2015 and extends a 0.5 percent Medicare reimbursement rate increase through December 31, 2014. A December 2013 law known as Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013 postponed the SGR cut for the first three months of 2014 and increased Medicare reimbursement by 0.5 percent through March 31 of this year.
A significant provision of the law delays adoption of the International Classification of Diseases-10 (ICD-10) code set from October 1, 2014 until October 1, 2015. The practical effect is that practitioners should continue to use the ICD-9-CM code set for coding and billing purposes until the new October 2015 deadline for using ICD-10-CM.  Posted 4/9/14.