News and Commentary

New Fee Schedule For Medicare Helps Office Docs


Physicians providing most services in an office setting will benefit from the Health Care Financing Administration's fee schedule for next year. Office-based physicians will receive slightly higher fees, up to a 1-percent increase, while most hospital-based doctors will see fee reductions of up to 1 percent. The changes are based on actual practice expenses; in past years, HCFA was criticized for basing its fee schedule on physicians' historical charges.

Because of adjustments related to malpractice-insurance costs, nephrology and emergency medicine, hospital-based specialties, will receive increases larger than 1 percent.

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