Physicians see expected 10 percent Medicare cut

Unless something dramatic happens, it appears that physicians will see Medicare reimbursement cuts of almost 10 percent in 2008 under a final rule issued yesterday by CMS. The cut is driven by the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula used by Medicare, which could lead to Medicare cuts of more than 40 percent by 2015 unless replaced. The rules also add more quality measures to CMS's existing Physician Quality Reporting Initiative, which offers physicians a 1.5 percent bonus if they voluntarily report on performance.

Presumably, the MGMA, AMA and other physician groups will pressure Congress to do as it has previously and adopt measures to hold off the payment cuts. It's not clear, however, whether the political will is there in Congress to hold off cuts this time. This is definitely a cliffhanger.

To learn more about the cuts, and related rule changes:
- read this Modern Healthcare article

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