Another thought-provoking article was just published in EP Monthly about how Medicare is cutting more payments to physicians. It will be interesting to see the unintended effects of Medicare’s decision.
Medicine is unique in that you can’t just leave one job on Friday and start another job at another hospital on Monday. Before you can get privileges to work in a hospital, you have to fill out a staff application, have all your references checked, go through committees, have the committees sign off on your application. Then you get your privileges. You also have to apply for all the new billing numbers, get insurance companies to change to your new location, yada yada yada.
All of this takes time. Sometimes a lot of time.
In emergency medicine, you used to be able to begin working at a new hospital a soon as you got your staff privileges – even if your billing paperwork had not been approved. You’d see patients, then hold your charges until you get your insurance approvals, then bill the insurance companies for all of the work you performed.
Medicare is now changing the rules.
According to the new Medicare Retroactive Billing Policy, Medicare will no longer pay for retroactive charges.
This policy doesn’t even make sense.
Provider payments are held up until Medicare gets around to approving the providers’ applications.
Think this policy is going to make Medicare work faster at processing applications?