Tuesday night late (April 14, 2015) the Senate passed H.R. 2, the “Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act,” or MACRA, on a bipartisan vote of 92-8.
Although six amendments were considered on the floor, none reached the threshold required for passage. As a result, the bill that the Senate passed was identical to the version that passed the House of Representatives on March 26 by an overwhelming 392-37 margin.
The bill has been sent to the White House where President Obama has said he would sign it into law.
Medicare was scheduled to begin processing claims on April 15 for services provided in April. While the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) have been instructed to implement the rates in the legislation, a small volume of claims will be processed at the reduced rate based on the negative update amount. The MACs will automatically reprocess claims paid at the reduced rate with the new payment rate, so no action is necessary from providers who have already submitted claims for the impacted dates of service. Under the provisions of H.R. 2, the fee schedule conversion factor will be increased by 0.5 percent on July 1, 2015, and by another 0.5 percent on January 1, 2016.
Twitter followers received the following message-- REMEMBER: If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. #WVSMA members played their part in #MedicareReform Join Today!
West Virginia Third District Congressman Evan Jenkins, former Executive Director of the WVSMA, provided this statement:
"After years of uncertainty with patch after patch, patients and doctors finally have relief from the burdensome, unworkable and unaffordable threat of implementation of the sustainable growth rate. Doctors will not have to worry every six months or 12 months about massive cuts from Medicare and hope Congress passes another patch. I have pushed for this since the day I was sworn into office as a member of congress and I proudly voted for the full repeal of the SGR to ensure our seniors could continue seeing the doctors of their choice. This is a perfect example of what we can accomplished when Congress works together to address the problems Americans face."