As we reported in our June 21 post, CMS has published the proposed revisions to the physician work RVU component. The notice, which opens the proposal to formal comments, was published in the June 29, 2006 Federal Register.
Each practice will have to look closely and see how their revenues will be effected, if at all. Overhanging this will be the emphasis on “budget neutrality”, i.e. no more money. This year, at least, wholesale cuts were stopped. Physicians continue to lose ground in revenue and take home income. I believe that there will be pressure to cut physician income in the high income specialties, and modest increases in the lower income specialties. Physicians should be planning a 5 years out, and planning to convert to EMR, use nurse practitioners, and use the web for patient educaiton, registration and appointment setting, limited patient communication via email, and limited online “consultation” with active patients.