In 2012, Medicare paid 68,961 family physicians participating in the Primary Care Incentive Payment (PCIP) program more than $251 million, or about $3,650 per physician, according to data from CMS(www.cms.gov). The figure is nearly $38 million more than what was distributed to family physicians in 2011(www.cms.gov).
Overall, the PCIP program paid primary care physicians and other eligible primary care professionals more than $664 million in 2012 compared to $560 million in 2011.
In 2011 and 2012, internal medicine received the highest percentage of payments, accounting for 50.1 percent of the funds, or more than $279 million, in 2011 and 49.4 percent, or nearly $328 million, in 2012. Payment percentages for family medicine were 38.2 percent in 2011 and 37.9 percent in 2012. Nearly 80 percent of the funds went to urban physicians in 2012, and rural physicians received about 20 percent, a 6 percent gain from 2011, according to the data.
The PCIP program, which was created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requires Medicare to pay primary care health professionals whose primary care billings comprise at least 60 percent of their total Medicare allowed charges a quarterly 10 percent bonus from Jan. 1, 2011, until the end of December 2015.
In both 2011 and 2012, internal medicine and family medicine ranked first and second, respectively, in terms of money and percentage of funds distributed, followed by
- nurse practitioners, 7 percent in 2011 and 7.5 percent in 2012;
- physician assistants, 2.5 percent in 2011 and 2.9 percent in 2012;
- geriatrics, 1.7 percent in 2011 and 1.9 percent in 2012;
- pediatrics, 0.3 percent in both 2011 and 2012; and
- clinical nurse practitioners, 0.2 percent in both 2011 and 2012.