On November 16, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the final rule on the 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, changing the physician fee schedule and other Medicare Part B payment policies and implementing certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
The regulation also discusses:
Among the highlights in the final rule:
CMS estimates that, all things being equal, family physicians will experience a 7-percent increase in their Medicare allowed charges in 2013 as a result of what is in the final rule.
Unfortunately, that assumes no change in the Medicare conversion factor from 2012. However, as noted in the final rule, the conversion factor under current law will decrease 26.5 percent to approximately $25 (from the current $34.04), effective with dates of service on or after Jan. 1, 2013. That means, unless Congress intervenes in the interim, the drop in the conversion factor will more than wipe out the projected 7-percent increase.
So, there is good news and bad news in the final rule this year.
–Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment for the American Academy of Family Physicians
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