The so-called SGR Patch approved by Congress will be in effect for 12 months, expiring on March 31, 2015. Between now and then, Congress will have to enact a permanent fix or enact another patch to prevent a huge drop in Medicare Physician payments next April 1.
In addition to preventing the SGR related reduction, Congress approved language extending various other Medicare provisions slated to expire. These include:
- Extends Medicare work Geographic Practice Cost Index (GPCI) floor for 1 year
- Extends Medicare therapy cap exception process for 1 year
- Extends Medicare ambulance add-on payments for 1 year
- Extends Medicare adjustment for Low-volume hospitals for 1 year
- Extends Medicare-dependent Hospital (MDH) program for 1 year
In addition to these "extenders" Congress also approved a one-year delay in the effective date of the ICD-10 transition. ICD-10 had been scheduled to take effect on October 1, 2014 but due to this Congressional intervention, the new effective date will be October 1, 2015.