Some health plans providing payment via credit card numbers are requiring the practices to pay associated administrative fees. As a reminder, health plans must provide EFT payments using the national standards whenever a provider requests it. In addition, health plans are not permitted to delay or reject transactions that follow the standard format, incentivize a provider to use an alternate payment method (such as a credit card), or charge excessive fees for using the standards.
On April 1, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. This new law prevents a scheduled payment reduction for physicians and other practitioners who treat Medicare patients from taking effect on April 1, 2014. This new law maintains the 0.5 percent update for such services that applied from January 1, 2014 through March 31, 2014 for the period April 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. It also provides a zero percent update to the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) through March 31, 2015.
The US Senate has voted for a 1-year “doc fix” preventing a 24% pay cut for physicians who treat Medicare patients, while also delaying by 1 year the implementation of the nationwide conversion to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), set of diagnostic and procedural codes that was scheduled to occur on October 1.
The bill now awaits President Obama’s signature.