JACKSON, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has just issued a final version of the regulation updating the Physician Fee Schedule. In 2012, unless Congress takes action, the Medicare conversion factors (CFs) will decrease by 27.4 percent. As announced in the “Final Rule,” for 2012, the general CF is $24.6712. Because of a scheduled increase in the anesthesia practice expense allowance, the national average anesthesia CF is $15.5264, a decrease of 26.2 percent from the 2011 national average of $21.05.
In all but one of the last eleven years Congress blocked the projected SGR cuts. Legislative action is required; the Administration is bound by the statutory SGR formula, which it says it is committed to fixing: “This payment rate cut would have dire consequences that should not be allowed to happen,” said Donald M. Berwick, M.D., CMS administrator. “We need a permanent SGR fix to solve this problem once and for all. That’s why the President’s Budget and his Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction call for permanent, fiscally responsible reform and why we are committed to working with the Congress to achieve a permanent and sustainable fix.”
Organized medicine has called upon the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the “SuperCommittee”), which is due to present its recommendations by November 23, 2011, to prevent the huge cuts. The American Medical Association and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), among others, have been running a vigorous effort to persuade the Super Committee that this is the time to fix the SGR problem. The American Society of Anesthesiologists has begun to articulate strategies for “rewarding providers for more coordinated, effective, and efficient care, notably in the form of the “surgical home.”
ABC is about to launch the Zenith Anesthesia Practice Network that will give participating clients a framework within which to develop coordinated care models, among other opportunities. It is critical that a 26.2 percent cut in Medicare payments not defeat and demoralize anesthesiologists at the very beginning of these exciting new ventures. For that reason, we urge our readers once again to join in the efforts of the ASA, the AMA, the MGMA and their other professional associations to bring about, once and for all, repeal of the SGR.
Review ABC’s full discussion of the Final Medicare Fee Schedule Rule for 2012 at: http://www.anesthesiallc.com/publications/ealerts/293-the-impact-of-the-final-medicare-fee-schedule-rule-for-2012-on-anesthesiologists
About Anesthesia Business Consultants
ABC, established in 1979, is one of the largest billing and practice management companies dedicated to the complex and intricate specialty of anesthesia and pain management. It is both an American Society of Anesthesiologists Practice Management Supporter, and an Anesthesia Quality Institute Preferred Vendor. ABC employs industry leaders, operates under proven efficient processes, and utilizes technology advances to easily adapt to the ever-changing regulatory environment.
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Anesthesia Business Consultants
Tony Mira, 517-787-6440
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