The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday issued an update on Medicare payment provisions that expired April 1, including exceptions to the outpatient therapy caps, add-on payments for ambulance services, payments for low-volume hospitals, payments for Medicare dependent hospitals and delay of the 21% reduction in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. When Congress returns the week of April 13, the Senate is expected to take up legislation (H.R. 2) that would extend the provisions and prevent the physician payment cut by permanently replacing the sustainable growth rate formula. CMS said it must take steps to implement the expiring provisions, but is “working to limit any impact to Medicare providers and beneficiaries as much as possible.” The agency plans to update physicians on contingency plans by April 11, noting that electronic claims are paid at least 14 calendar days after receipt and paper claims 29 days after receipt. AHA is urging the Senate to pass H.R. 2. For a summary of the impact of the bill’s provisions on health care providers, see the AHA’s March 24 Special Bulletin for members.