Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule on the 2017 Medicare physician fee schedule. Primary care physicians should be interested that the rule includes several proposed increases for care management services. Specifically, CMS is proposing to pay 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
• Resource costs of furnishing visits to patients with mobility-related impairments
• Chronic care management (CCM) for patients with more complex conditions
In addition, CMS proposes to reduce the administrative burden associated with the CCM codes to encourage more practices to furnish and bill for these services. CMS also will revalue existing codes describing face-to-face prolonged services.
For 2017, CMS estimates the conversion factor to be $35.7751, which is slightly lower than the 2016 conversion factor of $35.8043. However, CMS expects that the provisions of the proposed rule will generate an estimated 3 percent increase in Medicare allowed charges for family physicians. That would be the largest estimated update for a given specialty.
– Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment for the American Academy of Family Physicians
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