Medicare holds up providers

Saturday, September 30, 2006

CMS held nine days worth of payments Sept. 22 through Sept. 30 to shift $5.2 billion in expenses from one fiscal year to the next and avoid reimbursement cuts.
Most providers shrugged off the creative accounting.
"It's a dang shame our Congress has to resort to a shell game," said Dave Anderson, owner of Terre Haute, Ind.-based Andersons Medical Products. Anderson said the move would have a minimal impact on his business.
The payment hold took place during the last nine days of the federal fiscal year. Payments were scheduled to resume Oct. 2, with no interest and no late penalties.
Mark Gielniak, vice president of Diabetes Plus, in Warren, Mich., said Medicare makes up about 50% to 55% of his business but he wasn't overly concerned with the plan.
"I usually keep three months of cash in reserve, so it's not a big deal," said Gielniak. "But I'm an accountant by background, so I'm probably more fiscally conservative."