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CMS Tells Physicians to Be Patient

October 28, 2008:

When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would be replacing Medicare fiscal intermediaries and carriers with the new Medicare administrative contractors (MACs), it said one of the benefits would be that claims processing would be quicker and easier for providers. Physicians are finding quite the opposite. 

Some physicians complain that payments are delayed for months, and others that there are horribly long delays in processing provider enrollment. Worse, there are long wait times for the MAC customer service departments—or there’s simply no response at all. 

In a recent open door forum, a spokesperson for CMS stated that the agency is aware of the problems and asks that providers be patient during the transition. The agency stated that it is working with the new contractors to help beef up customer service and ease payment delays. 

CMS did say that providers should work with their MAC to try to resolve the issues. If that does not help, providers should then contact their local CMS regional office. In some instances, Medicare contractors may be able to approve advance Medicare payments when the provider can “demonstrate a major cash-flow problem.”

Deborah C. Hall
Clinical/Technical Editor


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