Physicians have until Jan. 31 to decide if they want to change
their participation status in the Medicare program next year. The
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extended the
enrollment period another 30 days last month because of changes in
the 2010 Medicare physician fee schedule.
The effective date for any participation status change during
the extension, however, remains Jan. 1, and will be in force for
the entire year.
In light of the controversy over long-term health system reform,
the pending 21.2-percent payment cut, the elimination of consulting
codes, and many other issues, we know that practices are thinking
hard about this participation decision. While TMA can't advise you
which direction to take, we can give you detailed information about
your participation options and the consequences of those
choices. That's why we've turned to our in-house Medicare
experts to record a Webinar to help you make an informed decision.
We're moving quickly; our goal is to have this posted on the TMA
Web site right after the first of the year. This will allow us to
include the most current information while still giving you time to
weigh your options. Check future issues of
Signing a participation agreement means you agree to accept
assignment for all covered services that you provide to Medicare
patients in 2010. CMS says fees are 5 percent higher for physicians
If you choose to participate in 2010:
- Do nothing if you currently participate.
- If you are not currently a Medicare participant, complete the
agreement and mail it to TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, the
Texas Medicare carrier.
If you decide not to participate:
- Do nothing if you do not currently participate.
- If you are currently a participant, write to each Medicare
contractor to which you submit claims, advising of your
termination effective Jan. 1, 2010.
Participation Agreement (CMS-Form 460)
is available on the CD-ROM distributed by
TrailBlazer Health Enterprises
and is posted on the TrailBlazer Web site. Return the form
Medicare Part B
PO Box 650544
Dallas, TX 75265-0544
Dec. 15, 2009
Last Updated On
June 17, 2010