The final 2012 Medicare physician payment rule from CMS includes an adjusted fee schedule for the Geographic Practice Cost Index (GPCI) that some industry leaders say is a great deal more fair to many physicians.
As a result of intense lobbying by the California Medical Association (CMA), CMS adjusted the fee schedule so that a larger percentage (3%) of the payments are adjusted for geographic differences in practice costs. This adjustment prevented large cuts in 2012 and will help California physicians in future years.
CMA provides the following summary of other major changes in the fee schedule:
Physicians may use claims-, registry-, or electronic health record (EHR)-based reporting methods. Improvements to the program, which the CMA and AMA supported, include allowing the use of a certified EHR to e-prescribe and making it easier to avoid the penalties by (1) not requiring physicians to link the e-prescribing codes to qualifying visits, and (2) allowing physicians to apply for additional hardship exemptions online.