Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Good News, Bad News for Medical Specialists

Ellie Rizzo reports in Becker's ASC Review on the Top 25 Highest Paid Physician Specialties for 2014, (This analysis is based on Medcape's recent survey; the same author reported on the top specialists earlier this year using BLS data which applies different metrics). Regarding the Mescape report, there are no surprises among the Top 5:

1. Orthopedics - $413,000 (2 percent increase)
2. Cardiology - $351,000 (2 percent decrease)
3. Urology - $348,000 (2 percent increase)
4. Gastroenterology - $348,000 (2 percent increase)
5. Radiology - $340,000 (2 percent decrease)

Meanwhile, Kathy McCoy details some challenges ahead for some of these very same specialists in a recent article entitled CMS Puts Away the Carrot and Brandishes the Stick.  According to Ms. McCoy, physicians face potential Medicare income loss of 9% due to PQRS and Value Based Modifier Program reductions plus Meaningful Use penalties. This translates to reductions in Medicare reimbursements of over $20,000 for an average Cardiologist and over $10,000 for a Gastroenterologist in 2017.

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