Medicare payments to primary-care doctors will increase and will decrease to surgeons and many specialists under proposed adjustments to the Medicare physician fee schedule.
HCFA last week published proposed revisions that would change the value of numerous physician services and procedures delivered to Medicare beneficiaries. The revisions are part of the agency's requirement to review the fee schedule and adjust it effective January 1997, five years after it took effect.
The adjustments largely favor the primary-care office-visit services known as "evaluation and management" at the expense of specialty procedures, HCFA officials said. As a result, family practitioners will be the biggest winners in the fee-schedule revision, with payments increasing by 4.6%.