Joshua J. Jacobs, MD, President of AAOS Comments:
|“Although we are very disappointed with the devaluation of procedures that we know provide tremendous value to the individual patient and to society, and that CMS did not use the values recommended by AAOS and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS), we are pleased that CMS responded to our extensive regulatory and legislative advocacy efforts to alter the RUC’s recommendation of far deeper cuts,” |
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Disappointed with Changes in the 2014 CMS Physician Fee Schedule
On Wednesday, November 27, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule.
Every year, CMS makes changes to the RVUs for procedures, including orthopaedic procedures, within the fee schedule. This year, the following four high-volume lower extremity orthopaedic procedures were reviewed and the RVUs either revised or left at their current value:
Dr. Tarlow comments: The trend to lower physician reimbursement started more than 20 years ago continues. These fee changes are typically adopted by all insurers. This ruling effectively lowers the fee surgeons will receive for performing the above procedures (exception is partial knee replacement which should see a fee increase). As a small business owner these fee decreases continue to place downward pressure on my ability to serve our patients - resources to pay staff, rent, and malpractice insurance continue to dwindle. Increasing patient volumes are the only strategy I am aware of to counteract this move. Less time with each patient likely diminishes the patient experience and the patient satisfaction and potentially causes lower quality of care. The human experiment continues.
Please post your comments: What would you do? What positives can be generated by these changes ?.