What exactly is the single conversion factor?

The single conversion factor, which combines the current three separate conversion factors for surgery, primary care, and other nonsurgical services in an attempt to better regulate growth in Medicare spending, is affected by the following components:

• Estimated percentage increase in fees for physician services (prior to legislative adjustments): 2.3%

• Estimated percentage change in average number of Part B enrollees from FY 1997-1998: -.4%

• Estimated real Gross Domestic Product per capita growth in FY 1998: 1.1%

• Percentage increase in expenditures for physician services resulting from changes in law or regulation in FY 1998 compared to FY 1997: 0.6%

Sustainable growth rate (SGR) for FY 1998: 1.5%