Doctor Payment Rates Cut Again Under New Medicare Rules
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services posted final Medicare payment rules Tuesday that include a cut in physician reimbursement rates.
"Physicians are once again staring down the barrel of a two-digit cut in Medicare reimbursement - pay will go down by 21% on Dec. 1, and another 4% cut will be loped off on Jan. 1, according to a final payment rule issued" by CMS, MedPage Today reports. "The American Medical Association wasted no time in condemning the cut, and issued a call to arms to mobilize the nation's physicians to press Congress to pass legislation this month to avert it. 'Physicians are anxious about the future, and [are] making decisions now about how many Medicare patients they can see and their participation status in Medicare for next year,' AMA President Cecil Wilson said in a statement. 'Congress needs to send a strong message that seniors and physicians can count on Medicare by stopping the cut for at least 13 months, providing time for Congress to fix the Medicare mess once and for all'" (Frieden, 11/2).
CQ HealthBeat: "Final rules were also issued for the home health prospective payment system rate update for calendar year 2011, as well as changes in certification requirements for home health agencies and hospices. Proposed cuts in payments put in place by the rule had already raised deep concern among providers. CMS said that updates were issued for national standardized 60-day episode rates, national per-visit rates, non-routine medical supply conversion factors and the low utilization payment adjustment (LUPA) add-on payment amounts. All are effective under the Medicare prospective payment system effective Jan. 1" (Reichard and Norman, 11/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.