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Deleting Medicare Consult Code Could Hurt Patients, Say Doctors

A Medicare rule that will eliminate specialist physicians' ability to bill higher amounts for patient consults as of Jan. 1 "has caused a combination of panic and confusion" and should be postponed for a year, the American Medical Association wrote in a lengthy letter. The impact will be even worse "if Congress has not acted to prevent a scheduled 21.2% cut in the conversion factor that is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1."

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