Practice-buying Will Slow in 2015—but Some Markets Will Keep Booming

January 5, 2015 – In The News
Part B News

William Maruca was quoted in Part B News, “Practice-buying Will Slow in 2015—but Some Markets Will Keep Booming.” Full text can be found in the January 5, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is below.

Prediction: More practices will attest for stage 2 meaningful use, yet not enough to avoid further delays or exceptions.

Slow attestation numbers may force lawmakers to intervene, says William Maruca. “I think there may be more delays. The administration wants this program to work and will try to be responsive to the issues that are delaying implementation.” Maruca’s argument does benefit from the language within the 2015 Medicare physician fee schedule granting the federal agency greater latitude in setting its hardship filing deadline “to July 1 of the year preceding the payment adjustment year or a later date specified by CMS.”

Prediction: A temporary “doc fix” will avoid large Medicare cuts but a permanent fix will elude providers again.

Despite the annual angst surrounding Medicare cuts, a rosy outlook about a permanent solution to the sustainable growth rate is hard to find. “I’m not too optimistic about a permanent fix or anything else cooperative coming out of Congress in the next two years,” offers Maruca.

Prediction: Physicians will delve into preventive care, other office-based services to offset reimburse-ment cuts.

“I see PCPs [primary care providers] expanding into physical therapy and other services, such as expanded preventive care in their practice, including smoking cessation [and] weight loss counseling,” predicts Zetter. Other service areas that physicians might wade into to sustain finances? “Alternative/complimentary medicine is one area,” adds Maruca. “Physician dispensing of medications is another one.”

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