21% of surgeons 'likely to' cut administrative staff if CMS finalizes pay cuts — 13 possible consequences


The American College of Surgeons surveyed its members to gauge how CMS' proposal to cut payments for some specialty surgeries would affect their practices and patients.

Released Aug. 3, the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule would reduce the conversion factor for general and specialty surgeons from $36.09 to $32.26.

ACS surveyed 1,324 members from Sept. 8-14 about the proposed rule's potential consequences.

Respondents were asked what actions they are likely to take if the rule goes into effect:

1. Limit Medicare patient scheduling: 39 percent
2. Reduce time spent with patients: 37 percent
3. Hire fewer new administrative staff: 27 percent
4. Stop investing in new equipment or technology: 26 percent
5. Hire fewer new nurses: 22 percent
6. Eliminate certain procedures: 21 percent
7. Cut existing administrative staff: 21 percent
8. Reduce total hours worked: 15 percent
9. Cancel a planned expansion: 14 percent
10. Cut existing nurses: 11 percent
11. Leave surgery entirely: 9 percent
12. Close satellite offices that are part of my practice: 8 percent
13. Close my practice entirely: 4 percent

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