General News

Medicare Expired Legislative Provisions Extended and Other Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Provisions


On February 9, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. This new law includes several provisions related to Medicare payment.

With regard to payment for outpatient therapy services, the law repeals application of the Medicare outpatient therapy caps but retains the former cap amounts as a threshold above which claims must include the KX modifier as a confirmation that services are medically necessary as justified by appropriate documentation in the medical record; and retains the targeted medical review process, but at a lower threshold amount. It also extends several recently expired Medicare legislative provisions affecting health care providers and beneficiaries, including the Medicare physician fee schedule work geographic adjustment floor, add-on payments for ambulance services and home health rural services, changes to the payment adjustment for low volume hospitals, and the Medicare dependent hospital program.

In addition, with regard to Section 53111 – Medicare Payment Update for Skilled Nursing Facilities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has received questions from stakeholders about the impact of the FY 2019 Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) update due to section 53111 of the BBA of 2018. To help answer these questions, we are providing information about the estimated market basket update for FY 2019 based on currently available data. This estimate may be updated in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the FY 2019 SNF Prospective Payment System (PPS).