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Doc Group Blasts CMS Physician Fee Schedule Plans

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, September 12, 2013

MGMA-ACMPE has penned a blistering 18-page report in response to the proposed federal rule on payments to doctors, criticizing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for inaccuracy, inconsistency, and being misleading.

Big and bureaucratic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has the last word on day-to-day healthcare policy and on physician payments. What CMS says, goes in or out of the physician paycheck.

As part of its policy-making process, CMS has closed the books on comments for its proposed rule for the 2014 Physician Fee Schedule. The CMS plan cites proposed quality measures for docs, and structures of some payment. On some level, it's part of the regulatory morass. But it carries the potential for explosive repercussions. And at least one physician organization is saying 'enough already.'

MGMA-ACMPE has penned a blistering 18-page report in response to the CMS proposed rule, criticizing the massive agency for inaccuracy, inconsistency, being burdensome, complicated, and yes, misleading.

I get the sense MGMA-ACMPE is a little fed up. "We have made a lot of these arguments, over and over," Allison Brennan, MPP, a Washington D.C.-based senior advocacy advisor for MGMA, told me. "If it seems a little tough, [it is because] we have voiced these opinions repeatedly and we continue to emphasize the importance of CMS to address these fundamental problems."

The barrage of MGMA-ACMPE complaints extends to billings, data collection, and the gathering of quality measures. Among the concerns are problems with the Physician Quality Reporting System, which is supposed to use a combination of incentive payments and payment adjustments, to report quality; and the consumer doctor rating system, Physician Compare.

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2 comments on "Doc Group Blasts CMS Physician Fee Schedule Plans"


Michele (9/16/2013 at 1:17 PM)
You do have a group that represents you. They are called the AMA and they have stopped reductions in physician fee schedules for the last several years.

Herb Ruhs, MD (9/12/2013 at 3:26 PM)
All this battering results ultimately from the inability of docs to organize strikes. A general strike by physicians is way overdue, but the profession lacks the ability to defend itself from the predatory actions of corporations aided and abetted by government. It is always the fact that the unorganized will be robbed and mistreated in our pecuniary culture that allows legal bribery.