CMS giveth and Congress (potentially) taketh away

The commotion over the 2013 Medicare Fee schedule belies the fact that some providers seek to gain an increase in the amount of their Medicare payments in 2013. Family practice physicians can potentially gain a 7% increase in their Medicare payments in 2013 taking into account new care coordination changes. This could potentially be a pleasant surprise for many family practice providers who on average submit the most charges to Medicare.
However, to all the family practice providers out there, don’t spend that potential 7% on all your Christmas presents yet. Along with the 7% increase in Medicare reimbursement for family practice doctors, the 2013 fee schedule includes the 26.5% decrease in Medicare payment amounts mandated in the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). Congress has waived the SGR every year since 2003 but perhaps this year with the fiscal cliff crisis things will be different. We all await our esteemed representatives’ decision.