December 1998 AAOS Report

HCFA publishes 1999 fee schedule

The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) published its 1999 Medicare physician fee schedule in the Nov. 2 issue of the Federal Register. HCFA said the schedule will result in an annual 2.3 percent increase to physician fees for 1999. The Medicare physician fee schedule for the first time will relate payment for physician practice expenses to the actual resources used to provide medical services rather than physicians' historical charges. The comment period ends Jan. 4, 1999. HCFA also published a notice that the substantial growth rate (SRG) for fiscal year 1999 will be -0.3 percent. The negative SRG is driven by a projected drop in Medicare fee-for-service enrollment, HCFA said. If the SRG target is not met, the appropriate fee schedule is adjusted up or down. The Academy currently is reviewing both documents and will submit its comments.


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