Monday, January 04, 2010

How will Medicare's elimination of consult codes affect hospitalists?

In two ways, most likely. First, it will decrease your own RVUs since much of what you did under the various and ubiquitous comanagement scenarios was, in the past, eligible for consult coding. Now you'll have to use the ordinary admission H&P codes which pay less. Secondly, if you've been having trouble getting subspecialists to do anything other than procedures that will probably get worse, as these physicians will get even less for their cognitive services.

Info from Medscape here and here.

1 comment:

Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

I am one of those consultants who will be working more and earning less. I agree that primary care folks aren't paid enough. I doubt, however, that the few extra % of reimbursement will be sufficient to placate the primaries or lure more medical students into primary care. It's not going to be a zero sum game where income is merely transferred from specialists to family physicians and internists. The compensation pie is more likely to shrink overall. Will physicians be able to afford to see Medicare patients. I read recently that Obama's beloved Mayo Clnic in AZ will no longer see Medicare patients. I think it's clear that the administration and many of its congressional supporters want all (or nearly all) physicians to be on salary. This is going to be quite a ride.