WASHINGTONPhysicians will receive an average 4.5% increase in Medicare payment rates in 2001, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) announced. Increases will range from nothing to 12%, depending on specialty.
Those paid under the classification hematology/oncology will receive a 6% payment increase; radiation oncologists will get 3%; and internal medicine physicians, 5%. Neurosurgeons received 1%, general surgeons, 2%; and obstetricians/gynecologists and urologists each received 6%.
Medicare payments will vary for specific services because the agency is in the midst of implementing a new payment system for physician practice expenses based on the resources involved in treating patients rather than on physician’s historical charges.