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Interim Study of Alternative Payment Localities under the PFS

Medicare is statutorily required to adjust payments for physician fee schedule services to account for differences in costs due to geographic location. There are currently 89 different localities which have not been revised since 1997. In the CY 2009 Physician Fee Schedule notice of proposed rulemaking, we indicated that we would post on the CMS website a preliminary study of several options for revising the payment localities.

Our review of possible alternative payment locality configurations is in the early stages of development. At this time we are not proposing to make any changes to the payment localities. We accepted comments on the options presented in the interim report as well as suggestions for other options until November 3, 2008. We will summarize all comments received on the interim locality study report in future rulemaking.

These comments will be considered in the development of possible future notice and comment rulemaking. When we are ready to propose any changes to the locality configuration, we will provide extensive opportunities for public comment (for example, a town hall meeting or open door forum) on specific proposals before implementing any change.

The interim report entitled: “Review of Alternative GPCI Payment Locality Structures”, appendices and master data file, which was produced by Acumen, LLC under contract to CMS, may currently be found in the downloads section below.