New pay increases in the 2017 Medicare physician fee schedule
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its final rule on the 2017 Medicare physician fee schedule. Some of the several increases for care management services in 2017 will interest family physicians. For example, CMS next year will begin paying for:
• Non-face-to-face prolonged evaluation and management services
• Comprehensive assessment and care planning for patients with cognitive impairment
• Primary care practices to use interprofessional care management resources to treat behavioral health conditions
• Chronic care management (CCM) for patients with more complex conditions
In addition, CMS is trying to encourage more practices to offer and bill for CCM services by reducing the administrative burden associated with those codes.
CMS also will revalue existing codes describing face-to-face prolonged services. For 2017, CMS has set the Medicare conversion factor at $35.8887, which is slightly higher than the 2016 conversion factor of $35.8043. CMS expects that the provisions of the final rule will generate an estimated 1 percent increase in Medicare allowed charges for family physicians.
CMS has provided additional information in a fact sheet on the final rule.
– Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment for the American Academy of Family Physicians
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