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Medicare Reimbursement Cut Further Squeezes Emergency Department Economics

Medicare reimbursement for the ED is taking a hit in 2011. ACEP estimates that evaluation and management (E/M) payments for emergency physicians will be down 2 percent to 3 percent. And payments for ED visit levels 3 and 4 drop 2.4 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively. The cuts raise two key questions: first, what does this mean for the practice of emergency medicine? Second, what can hospital CEOs do about these changes to the economics of their emergency departments?

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