Back in July, Congress managed to put off huge cuts projected for your Medicare payments in 2009. Still, this does not mean your particular practice will see the same returns from Medicare next year.
Back in July, Congress managed to put off huge cuts projected for your Medicare payments in 2009, instead promising a whopping 1.1 percent raise. Still, this does not mean your particular practice will see the same or slightly better returns from Medicare. Here’s why:
A little preparation will go a long way to a better 2009. Therefore, now is the time to forecast your Medicare payments so you can prepare for any impact. You’ll need some data to do that, which, frustratingly, is not fully available. As of today, Medicare has not yet released its final RVUs and fee schedule. However, it has released its proposed fee schedule, and projected the impact of RVU changes by specialty and by specific codes. Those estimates were printed in the Federal Register. Go to pages 96 and 97 in the PDF and look for charts 28 and 29.
Note that when Medicare does finally release the 2009 schedule, it will be posted online. Bookmark this site for easy reference later on. While you wait for the final fee schedule, you can start reviewing already-publishedchanges to the ICD-9 code set and update your superbills to suit. Heads up: You’ll find many additions to the diabetes codes.
There’s no need to panic about all of this. Keep in mind that according toPhysicians Practice research,Medicare generally pays better these days than many commercial plans. Don’t reject Medicare out of hand, simply because their machinations are so public. But help yourself out by taking time to prepare for the coming onslaught of new information.
Pamela L. Moore, PhD, CPC, is editorial director for Physicians Practice. She can be reached at email@example.com.