Barnes & Thornburg LLP: President Obama Signs Bill Extending Physician Medicare Rates And Delaying ICD-10 And RAC Audits Under The 2-Midnights Rule

By Nita Garg

On April 1, President Obama signed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. This legislation extends current Medicare physician reimbursement rates and delays implementation of the ICD-10 code for a full year. Previously, hospitals were to be ICD-10 compliant by October 1, 2014; this delay moves the compliance deadline to October 1, 2015.

Additionally, the bill also delays the moratorium on the CMS two-midnight policy through March 2015. This delay means that Recovery Audit Contractors cannot audit inpatient hospital claims from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015. The two-midnight rule holds that an admitted inpatient is presumed “reasonable and necessary” only if the patient stays at the hospital for at least two midnights.

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