Physicians, Wondering why cash is a little tighter in 2010?  In case you hadn’t heard, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) instructed its contractors to put a 10 day hold on physician payments at the beginning of January. 

Here’s what’s going on:  On October 30, 2009, CMS released the 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule which included a 21.2% across the board cut in payment rates.   As part of its Defense Appropriations bill, Congress extended the 2009 Fee Schedule rates for 60-days to allow time to consider ways in which to fix the sustainable growth rate formula in the Fee Schedule. 

In order to give Medicare contractors time to implement the 2010 payment rates by March 1, 2010, CMS put a hold on physician payments for the first 10 business days of 2010.  As a result, many practices are just now feeling the cash flow pinch.  See the CMS notice here.