CMS Cuts Worse Than Deficit Reduction Act for Clinics, Physicians

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | October 08, 2009

"It's a bigger issue if hospitals own free-standing imaging centers and do not bill as hospital-based departments. They're taking the same cut that radiologist-owned centers will be taking," he says.

And as 3d Health notes in their report, the biggest fear among freestanding clinics is that private insurance companies, who usually take their cue from Medicare, might follow suit and cut back on reimbursements. After all, it's what happened after DRA passed.

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But nothing's certain: although the proposed changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2010 were released in July, the final rules aren't expected until sometime before November 2, when CMS will have had a chance to go over feedback from industry groups and others.

"CMS is in the process of reviewing all of the comments received on the proposed rule, and will be responding to them in the final rule," Griffith explains.

Once the final rules are announced, Congress then has at least 60 days to consider them, before they take effect next year.

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