The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its annual report on Medicare physician utilization and payment data.
Covering calendar year 2014, the public file lists Medicare Part B payments and submitted charges for more than 986,000 individual physicians and other health care providers who collectively received around $91 billion. By comparison, the report for 2013 included $90 billion in payments to 950,000 physicians and other providers.
The latest report uses Medicare standardized payment amounts, which adjusts for geographic differences to make payments to physicians in different parts of the country comparable.
As we’ve discussed in the past, these annual payment reports show not only the range and complexity of care that family physicians provide but also the variation in reimbursement among medical specialists. For example, family physicians received an average of $61,804 in total Medicare payments during 2014. By comparison, internists received an average of $92,760 and cardiologists received an average of $222,373. As in the past, physicians weren't given an opportunity to review the information tied to their names for errors and the amounts don't reflect risk-adjustment, Medicare not covering the full cost of certain treatments, or other factors.
As CMS moves to tie physician reimbursement more closely to value, presenting accurate individual physician payment and utilization data to patients and other interested parties will become more critical.
Sign up to receive FPM's free, weekly e-newsletter, "Quick Tips & Insights," featuring practical, peer-reviewed advice for improving practice, enhancing the patient experience, and developing a rewarding career.