AMA asks CMS for $200M in overdue physician payments

The American Medical Association and more than 100 medical societies across the United States are lobbying the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to reimburse physicians for yet-to-be-paid claims made in the 2010.

The doctors are pressing for claims days after Congress approved $200 million for additional payments under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to Healthcare Finance News.

"We urge CMS to provide physicians with prompt information about how these claims will be handled, and to make the reimbursement process as quick and simple as possible," said AMA President Cecil B. Wilson. His plea was joined by medical societies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 57 national societies representing physician specialists.

In a letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the AMA outlined six provisions in the healthcare reform bill that called for physicians to be reimbursed at higher levels. The AMA also claimed that these new payment levels would retroactively apply to the entire 2010 calendar year.

"These missing payments are having a real impact," Wilson said. "Seventy-eight percent of office-based physicians are in small practices. Waiting for these reimbursements can cause them particular hardship as they struggle to keep their practices viable and care for Medicare patients."

For more:
- read the Healthcare Finance News article
- check out this article in The Hill
- read the AMA letter