Medicare Participation: Know your Options and Decide by December 31

December 20, 2012

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Neurologists have only until December 31 to make any changes in their participating or non–participating status in the Medicare program for 2013, while decisions to do private contracting can be made at the beginning of each quarter.

When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its Final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) earlier this year, the agency estimated that payments to neurologists will decrease by an overall average of seven percent in 2013 —mostly due to reductions in reimbursement for NCS and EMG studies.

Given the further uncertainty surrounding Medicare physician payments with cuts that total nearly 30% scheduled to take effect January 1, it is imperative that neurologists understand their three participation options:

  • Participating (often referred to as "PAR")
  • Non-participating (referred to as "non-PAR")
  • Private contracting

The American Medical Association (AMA) has updated their Medicare Participation Kit to help physicians evaluate their participation options and choose which status is right for their practice.

Physicians have the option of modifying their status with Medicare during their open enrollment period each year.

Visit http://www.aan.com/go/practice/public and scroll down to “Make the Decision to Participate” for more information.