The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final payment rules for 2015 on October 31. The rules total nearly 3,000 pages in length. A cursory review indicates little to no direct impact on neuromuscular (NM) or electrodiagnostic (EDX) medicine, as was indicated by the proposed rules released in July
. AANEM policy staff is currently reviewing the document and will release a detailed analysis of the final rules in the next few weeks.
rules include increased payments for hospital outpatient services (2.3%) and ambulatory surgical services (1.4%) beginning January 1, 2015. Also included is a new health insurance program for the elderly and disabled that will pay doctors a monthly fee of $40.39 to coordinate care for patients with two or more chronic conditions. However, a 21% cut in all Medicare payments looms if the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula cuts are allowed to take effect.
The final rules also eliminate a reporting exemption under the Sunshine Act for payment to physician speakers at continuing education events. According to the CMS website, “Applicable Manufacturers and GPOs will now be required to report compensation provided to physician speakers at continuing education events, unless the payment or other transfer of value is specifically excluded.”