Academy Works to Defend Neurology by Opposing New Medicare Practice Expense Bill

January 27, 2010

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The 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule corrects a distortion that had inappropriately paid some specialties more at the expense of everyone else. The changes are largely the result of the Physician Practice Information Survey, which gathered current Practice Expenses from over 50 different types of Medicare providers. As a result of the new data, Practice Expense payments for Neurology will increase by four percent once fully implemented.

Some specialties that previously benefited from the old Practice Expense data are now being put on a level playing field with all other physicians. And they are trying to stop it.

A new bill, HR. 4371, has been introduced to exempt one specialty—cardiology—from having to adopt the new changes to the Practice Expense in the 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. This sets a dangerous precedent for legislative exemptions when one specialty objects to the impact of changes that otherwise affect all specialties. The cost of this bill is significant (between one amd seven billion dollars) and stands to ultimately take away from other physician needs.

The Academy recently sent an Action Alert asking members to contact their Representative to oppose HR. 4371.

If you have not done so yet, please take two minutes and log on to Vocus to tell your representative that you do not support this policy!