While the relative value units (RVU) for emergency medicine codes increased slightly, the much-discussed cut to physician reimbursement mandated by the SGR formula (sustainable growth rate formula) was included in the rule and dictated a 21.2% decrease to overall physician reimbursement.
Each year since 2002, the SGR formula has yielded negative updates to Medicare’s reimbursement; and every year, Congress has stepped in to thwart the reduction. As global health care reform unfolds, stay tuned for timely updates on the ACEP Web site (www.ACEP.org) regarding the fate of physician reimbursement and other pressing reform issues.
Starting in 2010, Medicare has begun a transition to an alternate methodology for valuing the practice expense component of our payments, resulting in increased reimbursement for emergency medicine. The approximate 2% increase will be transitioned over a 4-year period and is based on the updated Physician Practice Inventory Survey (PPIS) data that ACEP helped fund.