When a physician accepts an assignment, it means he or she is accepting as payment in full the amounts that Medicare pays on all Medicare-related claims for covered services and supplies for a beneficiary. Essentially, accepting assignment means that providers, beneficiaries and Medicare have entered into an agreement outlining the payment relationship between those parties.
The agreement stipulates that in Original Medicare (Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) and Medicare Medical Insurance (Part B)), also known as fee-for-service, Medicare will pay its share to the physicians providing care to beneficiaries, and physicians will not collect additional payment from beneficiaries other than the amounts of the applicable Medicare deductible and co-insurance (the portion of medical bills a beneficiary pays).
Individual physicians may be listed in the official Medicare directory as accepting Medicare assignment and provide care in his or her private office as well as in a clinic or group practice setting that does not accept assignments. If such a physician cares for a beneficiary at a nonparticipatory clinic or group, the beneficiary may be charged more than if he or she saw the physician at a private office or a participating facility.
What is the Resource Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS)?
What Is the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and How Does It Impact Physicians?