July 24, 2018 02:36 pm News Staff – The AAFP has released its initial summary of the proposed 2019 Medicare physician fee schedule which, for the first time, also includes recommended changes that would affect CMS' Quality Payment Program in 2019.
The fee schedule was released for public review on July 12 and will be officially published in the Federal Register on July 27.
Family physicians are invited to take a look at the Academy's two-page summary but should keep in mind that it's merely a precursor to a much lengthier and detailed formal comment letter the AAFP will submit by the agency's Sept. 10 deadline. As in years past, that comment letter will urge numerous changes favorable to family medicine.
CMS typically reviews stakeholder comments before issuing a final fee schedule rule late in the fall.
Proposals designed to change evaluation and management (E/M) documentation and payment immediately grabbed the AAFP's attention because of the widespread use of these codes in family medicine practices.
According to the summary, CMS proposes simplifying E/M coding by blending CPT codes 99202-99205 -- codes that cover new patient office visits levels two through five -- into a single payment of $135.
Similarly, CMS proposes blending established patient office visits levels two through five that currently are covered by CPT codes 99212-99215 into a single payment of $93.
CMS also proposes new rules that would, among other things,
Regarding changes related to the QPP's Merit-based Incentive Payment System, CMS proposes to, among other things,
Additionally, CMS proposes establishing new category weighting for the 2019 performance year that would set
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AAFP Races to Review Proposal for Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, Quality Payment Program