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Physician Payment Update and Relative Value Unit (RVU) Changes

CMS set the 2018 Medicare PFS conversion factor at $35.9996, which includes a 0.5% update as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

The conversion factor calculation also reflects adjustments based on budget neutrality and the misvalued code target recapture amount. For 2018, the annual target is 0.5%. The net readjustment to misvalued codes in 2018 fell short by 0.09%, so this difference was taken out of the conversion factor.

Conversion Table

CMS finalized changes to Physician Fee Services and associated RVUs, which will impact reimbursement for certain specialties. For example, finalized policies will result in estimated payment reductions of 4% for diagnostic testing facilities. In contrast, other policies will result in estimated payment increases of 3% for clinical social workers and 2% for clinical psychologists. The estimated impact on total allowed charges by specialty resulting from the final payment changes is displayed in the two PDF Tables, below: