No Medicare Cuts March 1
On Feb. 17, Congress approved legislation providing for 10 months’ relief from 26.2 percent Medicare cuts that were going to hit March 1. What’s next? A postelection lame-duck session of Congress will be needed late 2012 to fix even larger cuts that strike Jan. 1, 2013. Thanks to AANA members, over 5,000 strong CRNA messages landed on Capitol Hill! See the House 293-132 vote
and the Senate 60-36 vote
on HR 3630
Federal Government Affairs
With all the cuts and threats to CRNA practice, how will you keep your voice in Washington strong? The CRNA-PAC kicks off its Care to be Counted 2012 campaign soon! www.caretobecounted.org
January 6, 2012
Medicare Cuts Averted For Now...
Medicare Part B payment cuts to CRNAs and physicians totaling 26.2 percent Jan. 1 are averted for now, as the U.S. House and Senate moved a bill (HR 3630
) providing a two-month fix, and planned to return in the New Year to develop legislation extending the relief beyond Feb. 29 when the cuts hit again. Thanks to all the CRNAs who “Cared to be Counted” and contacted Congress; your voice will be needed again in 2012! December 23, 2011
House to Committee: Work Out Differences
The U.S. House Dec. 20 on a 229-193 party-line vote
directed a conference committee to work out differences between a House bill that fixes Medicare 26.2 percent cuts for two years and a Senate bill that fixes them for two months. With Congress away for the holidays, the risk that CRNA and physician Medicare payments will be cut 26.2 percent Jan. 1, 2012 is high, though lawmakers may in January enact a fix retroactive to Jan. 1.
- What impact? Whether a CRNA is a sole proprietor or an employee of a hospital or group, the Medicare payment cuts on CRNA and physician payments will have effects. AANA calculates that an average CRNAs might see a $19,000 negative impact from these cuts if they last a year – nearly $1,600 a month, or $365 a week. The calculation assumes that a CRNA provides 900 13-unit nonmedically directed anesthesia cases annually, 30 percent of which are Medicare cases, at a $21 per unit conversion factor.
- What will Medicare do about payments? Medicare says if Congress does not enact relief legislation by Jan. 1, 2012, the agency will hold claims for services beginning Jan. 1, 2012, as late as Jan. 17 to avoid paying severely reduced rates in hopes Congress enacts a fix. The statement from Medicare is here. When Congress enacts a fix, it is likely but not guaranteed to be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012. If Jan. 17 passes without Congress enacting a fix, Medicare will pay claims for services starting Jan. 1, 2012, at approximately 26.2 percent less than current rates. If Congress then enacts a retroactive fix, Medicare will communicate to healthcare professionals its process for paying the rest of the previously reduced claims’ value.
- What to do? The AANA and CRNAs have long urged Congress to enact the longest possible relief from these cataclysmic Medicare payment cuts. AANA members are asked to contact Congress to act to prevent these harmful cuts from taking place. To take action and contact Congress now, see www.caretobecounted.org/crnadvocacy/take-action.
December 20, 2011
Huge 26.2 percent cuts to CRNA’s Medicare Part B payments January 1, 2012, could cost the average CRNA over $19,000 in the New Year unless Congress enacts relief legislation into law. But because the House okayed two years’ relief, the Senate approved two months’ relief, and they haven’t agreed on a final package, the risk of the cuts taking effect is real. AANA members, contact Congress today at www.caretobecounted.org/crnadvocacy/take-action!
December 19, 2011
Congress last weekend adopted a major $1 trillion federal appropriations package for FY2012 providing similar funding as last year for Title 8 nurse workforce development programs ($228 million), Advanced Nursing Education ($63 million), and report language directing the Administration to provide nurse anesthesia education “no less than fiscal year 2011 levels.” The House okayed it on a 296-121 vote; the Senate by 67-32. See a summary by the sponsors.
December 19, 2011
Incentive Special Pay Program Extended One Year
The AANA-backed Incentive Special Pay program that supports recruitment and retention of military CRNAs was extended one more year in a major defense bill (HR 1540, H Rept 113-329, statement of managers) that the U.S. House passed Dec. 14 on a 245-169 vote. The Senate’s OK and the President’s signature into law is anticipated soon. For all our military and federal services CRNAs past and present, thank you! December 14, 2011
Medicare Legislation Update
Legislation replacing 26.2 percent Medicare CRNA and physician payment cuts coming Jan. 1, 2012, with a two-year 1 percent boost (HR 3630, sponsors’ summary) was okayed by the Republican majority U.S. House late Dec. 13 on a 234-193 mostly party-line vote. The Administration had stated its opposition to the bill earlier in the day. Now the Democratic majority Senate takes up and likely rewrites the bill, probably to reduce the duration of the Medicare relief, its costs, and its offsetting revenues. With an average CRNA facing cuts exceeding $19,000 in 2012 alone (calculate your impact), will Congress act in time to avert huge cuts to Medicare CRNA and physician payment? AANA members, Care to be Counted and contact Congress today!
December 14, 2011
House Vote Set for Medicare Legislation
House Republicans introduced legislation (HR 3630) Dec. 9 replacing 26.2 percent Medicare Part B payment cuts with a two-year, 1 percent boost. Its $39 billion cost is offset by $40 billion in savings, about half of which comes from repealing provisions of the Affordable Care Act supported by the Administration. See the bill and sponsors’ summary. House vote set for Tues., Dec. 13; Senate outlook unclear. Will Congress act in time to reverse huge Medicare cuts before they hit Jan. 1? AANA members, Care to be Counted and take action now!
December 9, 2011