CMS is spinning the 5% cut in physician payments under the 2007 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule by emphasizing the increases in the RVU work component for E&M services. 

Formula-driven cuts have been mandated for each year since 2002, but Congress has overriden itself annually with one-time increases, and may well do so again after next week’s elections.  (See earlier post here.)  The rule went "on display" today, is scheduled to be published December 1, and will be effective January 1.  The display copy is available here

Update 12/4/06: The rule was published Friday in the Federal Register.

See the CMS press release for other highlights, including:

  • Expanded coverage for certain preventive services, as required by the DRA
  • Physician office imaging reimbursement capped at hospital payment levels, per the DRA (these cuts could be rolled back by pending legislation; see earlier post here)
  • Adoption of IDTF supplier standards
  • Adoption of ambulance fee schedule inflation adjustment factor of 4.8%
  • Clarification of the Specialty Care Transport rules 

— David Harlow