administration payments were nearly 50 percent less than
practice expenses in oncology practices, according to study
data presented by the Washington-based Moran Company. Not
only that, but on average the Resource-Based Relative Value
System (RBRVS) only reimburses physicians for 70 percent
of the cost of treating Medicare patients, the study found.
happens because Medicare "blends" practice expenses
across specialties and thus factors out specialty-specific
expenses, the Moran study explained. Moran is also conducting
a second study on the changes in oncology practices in 2005.
The National Patient Advocate Foundation commissioned both
studies and presented the data it's already received from
Moran at a Feb. 17 meeting with the Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid Services.
study, performed for the NPAF by the University of Utah's
Pharmacotherapy Outcomes Research Center, found that preparing
a chemotherapy dose costs physicians on average $36.03.
Multiplied by the total number of chemotherapy infusions
per year, this adds up to $144 million per year, the study