AANEM News Express

AANEM News Express

CMS Releases Proposed 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

On July 7, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule updating payment policies and payment rates for physicians under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for 2017. CMS estimates a +1% impact in payment on neurology and physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians; although, ultimately, the result could differ when the final rule is published in the fall.
A few key areas addressed in the proposed 2017 MPFS include:
  • Expanding eligible telehealth services. CMS is proposing to make payment through new codes, initial and subsequent, used to describe critical care consultations furnished via telehealth.
  • Gathering data on activities and resources involved in 10- and 90- day global surgical procedures. CMS is proposing to collect claims-based reporting about the number and level of pre- and post-operative visits; survey a representative sample of practitioners about the activities involved in and the resources used in providing pre- and post-operative visits; and perform a more in-depth study of pre- and post-operative care delivered at a small number of sites.
  • Chronic Care Management (CCM) and Transitional Care Management (TCM). CMS is proposing to remove potential barriers to furnishing and billing CCM and TCM services.
  • Improving Payment Accuracy for Primary Care, Care Management, and Patient-Centered Services. CMS is proposing changes to capture the range and intensity of nonprocedural physician activities (E/M services) and the “cognitive” work of certain specialties.  
  • Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). CMS intends to update ACO quality reporting which includes changes to the quality measure set, updates to align with the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and the proposed Quality Payment Program (QPP).

The public and the AANEM have the opportunity to comment by September 6, 2016, on these proposals to influence policies that are released in the final rule. A more detailed analysis of any changes to the RVUs related to EDX or neuromuscular medicine is forthcoming. Please contact the policy department at policy@aanem.org with any questions or concerns.

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