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CMS Medicare Announcement

CMS Medicare Announcement

Date: 1/3/2003

News: January 3, 2002

To: HBMA Membership

From: Bill Finerfrock

Re: CMS Announcements

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that
physicians have until February 28th to decide whether they wish to
continue to participate in the Medicare program. The announcement came
as part of a Program Memo (AB-02-181). Carriers have been instructed to
mail the disclosure packages beginning January 2nd. The enrollment
period begins on January 9th and will run through February 28th. To
obtain a copy of the PM, click on:

CMS notes that although the enrollment period begins on January 9th,
enrollment will be retroactive to January 1, 2003.

In a related development, CMS published a Final Rule on December 31st
announcing the CY 2003 Medicare Fee Schedule reduction. According to
the announcement, "without Congressional action to address
the current legal framework, the Department is compelled to announce
herein a physician fee schedule update for CY 2003 of -4.4 percent."
However, it should be noted that the effective date of the reduction is
March 1, 2003. This means that there is still an opportunity for
Congress to intervene to prevent the reductions from taking place
although providers should not count on this happening.

To review the entire announcement, click on:

A more detailed discussion of the likelihood of Congressional action
will appear in the upcoming issue of HBMA's Washington Report.

Source: Bill Finerfrock-Capitol Associates