Monday, December 07, 2009

Getting Ready for the Cardiology Cuts

There are potentially plenty of ways cardiologists will see their payments decline next year: from the loss of Medicare inpatient consultation code payments to the 2010 physician fee final rule issued last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) which threatens to cut to cardiology practice procedural payments an average of 27 percent.

For those who want to calculate the potential impact to their practice, the American College of Cardiology has prepared a nifty Practice Impact Calculator that contains two worksheets: one for your practice and the other for the impact that loss of consultation codes will impart. Just enter this year's volumes and the calculator will do the rest.

Try not to get too depressed filling it out and consider sending your results to the ACC.

Oh, and more good news: please keep in mind that the proposed 2010 payments shown on the spreadsheet do not include the across the board 21.5% cut to the Medicare conversion factor that will take effect on January 1 if Congress fails to prevent it. Also, remember that this spreadsheet shows only the impact on Medicare payments. Many private payers follow along with Medicare’s payment trends, so reduced Medicare payments could be only the beginning.


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