MedPAC Advises 1% Update for Physicians

In its annual report to Congress, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended a 1-percent payment update for the physican fee schedule services in 2012.

MedPAC also recommended 1 percent updates in 2012 for outpatient dialysis centers, and hospice. For ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), Congress should implement a 0.5 percent increase in calendar year 2012 while requiring ASCs to submit cost and quality data. Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) would get no update in fiscal year 2012, according to MedPAC, which also called for Congress to establish a quality incentive payment for SNFs and for SNFs to report more accurate diagnostic and service-use information. MedPAC criticized the amount of fraud that occurs in home health agencies and advised HHS to redesign how it pays for home healthcare. The Commission also recommends that HHS investigate financial relationships and patterns of referrals between nursing homes and hospice and asked Congress to change Medicare’s payment to hospice.

This means that the anesthesia rates will go up slightly in 2012.

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