For the six of you at work today:
1. President Bush decided that holding back the SCHIP program was so important that he vetoed the first attempts to expand the program. As a nation, we are moving slowly towards a universal health financing program, led by the states. Well, something passed, and here’s the article from the Washington Post with the details.
2. CMS issues this announcement today – mostly old news, but worth a scan::
The Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 made several changes affecting payments to physicians. One such change provides for a 0.5 percent increase to the physician fee schedule conversion factor for dates of service beginning January 1 through June 30, 2008, instead of the (negative) -10.1 percent that was scheduled to take place. Effective for dates of service on and after July 1, 2008, the (negative) -10.1 percent update to the physician fee schedule will go into effect. The new fees will be posted on your local contractor’s website as soon as possible.
Since there is a change to the 2008 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rates, CMS is extending the Participation Decision Period an additional 45 days. The participation decision period now runs through February 15, 2008, instead of ending on December 31, 2007. All participating status changes will be effective January 1, 2008.
To become a participating physician, complete the CMS-460 form which can be found on the CD that was mailed to physicians in November. You can also request the form from your local contractor. The form must be completed, signed, and mailed to your local contractor and post-marked by February 15, 2008. If you are changing your participation status to non-participating, please send your request in a letter to your local contractor, post-marked by February 15, 2008.
An official CMS change request and an MLNMatters article will be forthcoming.
A Happy New Year to everyone!