Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule on the 2020 Medicare physician fee schedule.
Among the highlights for 2020:
CMS also modified its documentation policy so physicians, physician assistants, and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) can review and verify (i.e. sign and date) rather than re-document notes made in the medical record by other physicians, residents, physician assistants, and APRN students, nurses, or other members of the medical team.
Beyond 2020, CMS finalized its proposal to align evaluation and management (E/M) coding for office/outpatient visits with changes made by the CPT Editorial Panel. Beginning in 2021, the finalized proposal will:
In 2021, CMS also plans to implement an add-on code describing the work associated with visits that are part of ongoing, comprehensive primary care or ongoing care related to a patient’s single, serious, or complex chronic condition. CMS finalized its proposed values for the revised office/outpatient visit E/M codes and the add-on code. As a result, CMS projects that allowed charges for family physicians will increase 12% in 2021.
Regarding the Merit-based Incentive Payment System portion of the Quality Payment Program (QPP), CMS finalized policies that establish the following performance thresholds and category weights for the 2020 performance period (which impacts payment in 2022):
— Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment at the American Academy of Family Physicians
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