CMS Final Rule Slashes Physician Pay 20.1% for 2014

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |
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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the final physician payment rule for next year, slashing physician reimbursement 20.1 percent.

The revised final rule would reduce physician payment for Medicare patients based on the sustainable growth rate formula. Every year since 2003, Congress overrode the SGR so physicians would not see sizable cuts; however, unless Congress takes action, physicians will see these cuts in 2014.


Under the current final rule, CMS expects Medicare physician payments to total $87 billion next year.


Members of both parties in Congress are working on repealing the sustainable growth rate, and one bill to repeal SGR has been passed by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.


"Congress should act decisively this year to pass SGR repeal, provide positive updates and improve the performance programs. Otherwise it risks spending additional billions of taxpayer dollars on another patch that preserves the broken Medicare payment formula for another year or two," said Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, president of the American Medical Association, in a news release.


However, the final rule does expand payments for physicians who use telehealth services and addresses physician quality reporting initiatives associated with Medicare payments. There are now 57 new individual measures and two group measures for the Physician Quality Reporting System. PQRS now includes 287 individual measures and 25 group measures.


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