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Proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Contemplates A 6.1% Cut In Physician Reimbursement Rates

Under the proposed Medicare physician fee schedule rule (the “Proposed MPFS”) released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on June 25th, physician reimbursement rates would decrease by 6.1% as of January 1, 2011. On the day that CMS issued the Proposed MPFS, the 21% cut in physician reimbursement was deferred until at least November 30, 2010 by operation of the Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010 (H.R. 3962) being signed into law. Under H.R. 3962, physicians were designed to receive a 2.2% positive adjustment to rates, retroactive to June 1, 2010, the date upon which the 21% reduction became effective. Clearly, the vicissitudes in the Medicare physician reimbursement landscape are the cause of significant consternation in the physician provider community, leading substantial numbers of physicians to critically evaluate their continued participation in the program … or, at a minimum, whether to admit any new Medicare patients into their practices. Note that the Proposed MFPS’s focus is not confined to the payment update, and also operates to implement a number of initiatives contemplated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. Please see The HLP Blog for coverage of other aspects of the Proposed MPFS, which is scheduled to be published in the July 13 Federal Register, with comments due by August 24.

For more information on this topic, feel free to call Carey F. Kalmowitz, Esq. or Adrienne Dresevic Esq. of The Health Law Partners at (248) 996-8510 or (212) 734-0128.

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