Once again, the Medicare Fee Freeze has been granted another temporary reprieve. The following statement was issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:
"On March 2, 2010, President Obama signed into law the "Temporary Extension Act of 2010." Among other things, this law extends through March 31, 2010, the zero percent update to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule that was in effect for claims with dates of service January 1, 2010, through February 28, 2010. Consequently, effective immediately, claims with dates of service March 1 and later which were being held by Medicare contractors will be released for processing and payment. Please keep in mind that the statutory payment floors still apply and, therefore, clean electronic claims cannot be paid before 14 calendar days after the date they are received by Medicare contractors (29 calendar days for clean paper claims).
"In addition, the new law extends through March 31, 2010, the exception process for therapy claims reaching the annual cap, retroactive to January 1, 2010. Affected providers may submit claims for exceptions to the annual therapy caps, with dates of service January 1 through March 31, 2010, using the KX modifier, following the pre-January 1, 2010, requirements for therapy cap exceptions."
Claims are being processed, but the war isn't over. The battle will continue for at least another month.