CMS publishes 2008 physician payment rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its final physician payment rule for 2008, asserting that the document is designed to "improve accuracy of Medicare payments and give physicians and healthcare professionals additional financial incentives to provide higher quality and value in the delivery of care."

Under the new rule, Medicare estimates that it will pay approximately $58.9 billion to some 900,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals next year. The revised payments, quality incentive rates, and related policy changes will become effective January 1, 2008. The final rule is published in the November 1 issue the Federal Register.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) commented on several items in the final rule that will affect medical imaging and radiology practices.

The Reston, VA-based organization noted an increase in radiology's practice expense per physician hour, from $174 to $204, as a result of ACR survey data collected on practice costs.

The changes to radiology's practice expense per physician hour, the ACR figures, equates to approximately a $100 million shift in practice expense dollars to radiology. While the increase does not translate to a "huge increase in radiology's practice expense values," the ACR noted that it represents "an accurate representation of the outcome of the data collected by the ACR for this formula."

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers
November 5, 2007

Related Reading

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New CMS rules could add to radiology's reimbursement woes, August 1, 2007

CMS releases 2008 HOPPS proposed rule, July 19, 2007

CMS proposes to cut rates in 2008 MPFS, July 3, 2007

CMS reconsiders coverage for new PET uses, June 26, 2007

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