The Obama administration proposed to remove
physician-administered drugs from the Medicare physician payment
formula in future years. Organized medicine has been working to get
these drugs removed from the flawed physician payment formula since
2002. Although this does not solve the Sustainable Growth
Ratio (SGR) situation, it will likely reduce the size of future
physician payment cuts.
Despite this change, without Congressional action, physicians
are still facing an average of 21.5-percent cut to their Medicare
payments in January 2010.
There are also other changes included in the
Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
) for 2010 including large modifications to the relative value
units (RVUs) for some specialties. One positive element is an
increase in primary care physician payments. However, many
specialties may face significant reductions.