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Physician Pay Wars' Winners and Losers

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 5, 2012

Related radiology specialists also will suffer cuts, such as radiation oncologists, 7%; interventional radiologists, 3%; and physicians providing services in radiation therapy centers, 9%.

Another problem she has with the new fee schedule is the agency's use of the word "session," which she says CMS has vaguely defined. "Is it timeframe, or something else?" What if two images for the same person are read hours hours apart, but on different days?

"We've pushed back on these (cuts) several times now," and last year had the cuts taken out, McGinty says. This time it appears they will take effect with several negative consequences that Medicare officials don't yet realize, she insists.

"These cuts will reduce access for Medicare beneficiaries, and they also have the potential to leave practices unable to make the kinds of investments in technology that we feel have so significantly benefited Medicare beneficiaries."

Soon, she adds, the technology companies that provide the equipment won't do well, and people won't have jobs, and the cycle of innovation will suffer. "The cycle of innovation only happens if there's demand for a product," she says.

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