ACC fights Medicare cuts
This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet
The American College of Cardiology says it is pushing legislation in Congress that would hold 2010 Medicare reimbursement for cardiologist practice expenses at 2009 rates rather than enact the substantial scheduled cuts that will result from CMS's adoption of a new survey tool to calculate payments (1"The Gray Sheet" Nov. 9, 2009). The bill, sponsored by Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, D-Texas, would still allow other physicians, such as primary care doctors, to receive expected payment gains from the new methodology. The cardiology group earlier this month launched its Campaign for Patient Access program to share stories from patients across the country about how the Medicare physician fee schedule cuts could limit access to life-saving treatment
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American College of Cardiology is "deeply disappointed" in a decision by a U.S. District Court of South Florida judge not to review a legal challenge to Medicare's 2010 physician fee schedule, the group says in a Jan. 12 statement. ACC filed suit last month hoping to reverse an 8% drop in Medicare payments for certain cardiology office services (1"The Gray Sheet" Dec. 14, 2009). According to a Jan. 13 research note from Concept Capital Washington Research Group, sales of imaging companies GE, Philips, Siemens and Digirad could be hurt if cardiologists are unable to tolerate the fee cuts and thus "decrease their purchases of new equipment or close their practices.
The American College of Cardiology will fight reimbursement cuts to cardiology practices imposed by the 2010 Medicare physician fee schedule that CMS finalized Oct. 30