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Radiation Oncology Receives 7% Medicare Fee Reduction

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The Medicare physician fee schedule for 2013 includes a 26.5 percent pay cut based on the sustainable growth rate formula and a 7 percent reduction for radiation oncology services, according to Oncology Practice.

The SGR formula will be in effect Jan. 1, unless Congress halts the cut, which it has done every year since 2003.

The fee schedule also includes cuts for intensity-modulated radiation treatment and stereotactic body radiation treatment, though not as steep as the originally proposed cuts. The American Society for Radiation Oncology expressed relief with the 7 percent cuts instead of 15 percent.

The final rule also creates a new set of codes to pay physicians for care coordination in the 30 days after a patient is discharged from a hospital. Those initially proposed G codes will now be full-fledged codes in the AMA CPT code set.

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