Oncologists will see about a 5.5% increase in pay for CPT codes that
they bill Medicare for in the year 2000. Actually, all physicians
will get that same update. But other specialties will
have that increase either boosted or shaved based on changes in the
Medicare fee formula for 2000. Medicare is transferring malpractice
relative value units (RVUs) from a historical charge to an actual
cost basis, and is continuing to do the same to practice expense
RVUs, although the latter change will not occur until 2002. Those
changes will have no impact on either hematologist/oncologists or
radiation oncologists, but some surgical specialties and
anesthesiologists will lose upwards of 10%.
Also in 2000, Medicare will start paying for digital rectal
examinations and annual screening prostate-specific antigen tests.
Initially, Medicare had said that the tests would have to be done by
the patients attending physician. That brought complaints.
Medicare backed off in the final rule, and said that the tests could
be done by any provider who is fully knowledgeable about the
patient and would be responsible for explaining the results of the
© 2000 by PRR, Inc. All rights reserved.