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Anesthesiology Continuing Education (ACE) Program

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CMS Releases Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Regulation

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 1,200-page Calendar Year 2012 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule.  Absent Congressional intervention, the regulation sets forward a process to reduce payments to physicians and other providers by 27.4 percent in 2012 as called for under the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). The 27.4 percent cut is less than the 29.5 percent reduction that CMS had estimated last March because Medicare cost growth has been lower than expected.

According to the MPFS, the 2012 anesthesia conversion factor will be $15.5264 (a 26.2 percent decrease due to other factors impacting the conversion factor) unless Congress acts to avert the SGR cut.  President Barrack Obama and Congressional leadership have all expressed strong support for averting the scheduled 27.4 percent SGR cut set to go into effect January 1, 2012. ASA will continue to lobby Congress to ensure this cut does not go into effect.

In addition, ASA is pleased to see that CMS is committing to reach out to “interested stakeholders” to determine application of the congressionally-mandated value-based physician payment modifier to various specialties, including anesthesiologists.  ASA looks forward to appropriate and productive discussions with CMS on this topic.

Finally, ASA members and staff are currently analyzing the 1,200 page final MPFS rule and its impact on anesthesiologists.  ASA members will be regularly updated.

Read the 1200-page MPFS.

Read the comment letter ASA submitted on the proposed rule. 

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