2010 Medicare Enrollment Extended

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 Action for details.

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 who participate.

If you choose to participate in 2010:

  1. Do nothing if you currently participate.
  2. 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:

  1. Do nothing if you do not currently participate.
  2. If you are currently a participant, write to each Medicare contractor to which you submit claims, advising of your termination effective Jan. 1, 2010.

The 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 to:

Medicare Part B
Participation Agreement
PO Box 650544
Dallas, TX 75265-0544  

Action, Dec. 15, 2009

Last Updated On

June 17, 2010

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