Physician Pay Set Through 2012
One worry providers can set aside is the Medicare pay cut of 27.4 percent that was set to go into effect March 1. Congress and President Obama have approved the “Doc Fix” legislation, postponing cuts until next year.
The 27.4 percent cut is part of the sustainable growth rate (SGR), a mandate of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 meant to control rising costs and administered through the annual Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS). While percentage reductions in physician pay have varied from year to year, most have not been implemented. The SGR formula will cut physician pay by 32 percent next year, according to the American Medical Association (AMA), whose RVS Update Committee (RUC) helps set the fee schedule and SGR rate.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 extends certain Medicare programs set to expire and terminates others. An example, according to Modern Healthcare, is that a program paying higher wages to facilities known as Section 508 hospitals will end March 31. The program, which started in 2003, was only supposed to last three years. The bill extends outpatient therapy cap exceptions and ambulance add-ons through the end of the year. Cost offsets will come from a number of sources, including cuts to hospitals for bad debt payments and a 2 percent cut to labs in 2013.
amednews.com “Medicare physician pay frozen until 2013”
Modern Healthcare “Details of SGR deal released”