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General Surgery Coding Alert

Physician Fee Schedule 2012:
Brace Your Practice for 27% Medicare Conversion Factor Cut

Plus: Thoracic, integumentary rates on the line. 'Tis the season for another round of tense waiting to see if you'll get a dramatic reduction in 2012 Medicare payments for your general surgical services. "The calendar year 2012 Physician fee schedule [PFS] conversion factor is $24.6712," notes the physician 2012 Medicare fee schedule Final Rule, printed in the Nov. 28 Federal Register -- and that could mean a big cut in your pay. Look for Congressional Relief The conversion factor (CF), scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2012, amounts to a dismal 27.4 percent cut compared to the current rate of $33.9764. CMS acknowledges that this massive cut may not be set in stone, stating, "While Congress has provided temporary relief from these reductions every year since 2003, a long-term solution is critical. We will continue to work with Congress to fix this untenable situation so doctors and beneficiaries [...]


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