Docs Have Until Jan. 31 to Change Medicare Status

(HealthDay News) – The deadline for making changes to Medicare participation status has been extended to Jan. 31, 2014, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

Physicians have until Jan. 31, 2014, to assess their participation options, and changes will apply retroactively to Jan. 1. An AMA toolkit is available to help doctors assess the options; the toolkit includes resources such as a sample letter to notify patients about change in participation status; a sample Medicare private contract; and materials to help physicians determine the financial impact of their decision.

Medicare participation includes three options: signing a participation agreement and accepting Medicare’s allowed charge as full payment, commonly known as “PAR;” non-participation status with limited balance-billing rights, known as “non-PAR;” and becoming a private contracting physician.

“A Medicare payment update of 0.5% was passed by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate earlier this month and signed by the president last week,” according to the AMA. “The measure buys three months for Congress to complete its work on SGR [sustained growth rate] repeal legislation without further disruption to the Medicare program. It is the first positive update since 2010.”

More Information