Medicare: Small Pay Raises For Family Care, Hospital Outpatient Services

Family physicians will get a 7 percent increase in Medicare payments while others who provide family care services will get 3 to 5 percent boosts. Hospital outpatient payments will grow 1.8 percent.

CQ HealthBeat: Family Physicians Will Get Slight Boost in Calendar Year 2013
Medicare payments for family physicians will rise by about 7 percent in January under a final 2013 rule that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released late Thursday. Other practitioners who also provide family care services would get payment increases of about 3 to 5 percent next year. ... The increase for family physicians is affected in part by an administration plan to provide a separate payment to physicians or practitioners who coordinate the care for patients in the 30 days after the patient is released from a hospital or skilled nursing facility. The goal is to reduce problems that can occur after a patient is discharged (Adams, 11/1).

CQ HealthBeat: Medicare Hospital Outpatient Payments To Rise 1.8 Percent
Federal officials announced a final Medicare payment rule late Thursday that will raise payments for hospital outpatient services at about 4,000 facilities by 1.8 percent on Jan. 1. Medicare payments to those departments will total $48.1 billion next year, says a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services press release on the rule. The rule also provides for an increase of 0.6 percent in payment rates to ambulatory surgical centers. Medicare payments next year to the centers will total $4.01 billion (11/1).

MedPage Today: Medicare Sets 2013 Physician Fee Schedule
Much of the increase in the physician fee schedule reimbursement will come from new added payments for coordinating a patient's care in the 30 days following a hospital or skilled nursing facility stay. Under the rule, providers will for the first time receive a separate payment to help a patient transition back to the community following a discharge (Pittman, 11/1).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.