Important Message from the NASL
On Monday, March 31, the Senate approved the House-passed 12-month Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Patch bill by a 64-35 vote. The proposal, H.R. 4302, Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, prevents a 24% cut in reimbursements for physicians and Part B providers who treat Medicare patients that would have gone into effect on April 1, 2014 and replaces it with a 0.5% update through December 31, 2014 and a 0% update from January 1, 2015 until April 1, 2015.
The legislation also extends the Part B outpatient therapy cap exceptions and manual medical review process until March 31, 2015; extends the CMS "probe and education" program for auditing hospitals discharges around CMS' two-midnight policy for 6 months; makes technical corrections to the LTCH site neutral payment policy; delays the transition to ICD-10 until October 1, 2015; establishes a SNF
Value-based Purchasing Program that includes an all-cause all-condition readmission measure for nursing facilities; and, increases a fee paid to labs that service patients in skilled nursing facilities.