Congress passed only a short-term delay of the 24 percent Medicare physician pay cut scheduled for April 1, triggered by the sustainable growth rate. In recent weeks, Congress had made significant progress on a Medicare pay-reform plan that would provide a permanent, bipartisan solution to the ongoing SGR cuts. However, the permanent fix stalled over disagreement about how to pay for the repeal.
The one-year SGR fix bill also included a one-year delay of ICD-10. Already delayed once, the new code set will not be implemented until Oct. 1, 2015. H.R. 4302 provides scant details of the delay. Politico reports the bill's swift passage in the House surprised even many representatives. The Senate passed the bill 64-35. Section 212 of the bill reads:
"The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to October 1, 2015, adopt ICD–10 code sets as the standard for code sets under section 1173(c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d–2(c)) and section 162.1002 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations."
CMS has not yet commented on H.R. 4302. CMS requires all practices submitting paper claims to update their CMS 1500 form to version 02/12 by April 1 to accommodate the new ICD-10 code set. Beginning April 1, it will reject claims submitted on the old CMS 1500 form (version 08/05). Learn more about the form.