CMS Proposes 0.5% Doc Fee Hike
Written by Editor   
Thursday, July 16, 2015 02:19 PM
Quick Brief:  Medicare reimbursement for physicians will increase in 2016 by 0.5% the CMS reports.  PQRS modifications will also be announced.


Physicians will see a 0.5% overall increase in Medicare reimbursement in 2016 under the proposed physician fee schedule announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The proposed fee schedule, which will be finalized this fall, is the first to be issued since Congress repealed the much-abhorred sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula in April. The 0.5% update was specified in the SGR repeal bill.

The proposed rule includes some modifications to the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). "CMS proposes to make changes to the PQRS measure set to add measures where gaps exist, as well as to eliminate measures that are topped out, duplicative, or are being replaced with a more robust measure," the agency noted. "If all measure proposals are finalized, there will be 300 measures in the PQRS measure set for 2016."

"Physicians can anticipate years of micro-measurement and micro-incentives,"; one commenter writes. "It remains to be seen whether these will save money or improve care -- or whether they will spur formal compliance through cynical box-checking."

CMS will be accepting public comments on the proposed rule for 60 days.