The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) this week released its proposed rules on the 2018 Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS). The proposal would increase overall rates in 2018 by 0.31 percent, effectively increasing the PFS conversion factor by a dime to $35.99.
Among the many proposals that are highlighted in a fact sheet on the proposed rule and on which CMS is seeking comments, the proposed rule would:
Also, CMS is seeking recommendations on updating the documentation guidelines for evaluation and management (E/M) services to reduce the associated burden and better align E/M coding and documentation with the current practice of medicine. CMS is especially focused on the documentation guidelines for history and exam, which CMS believes may be more significantly outdated.
In addition to the payment and policy proposals, CMS is releasing a Request for Information (RFI) for other proposals to improve transparency, flexibility, program simplification, and innovation. These answers will guide future regulatory action related to the PFS.
Comments are due to CMS by Sept. 11.
– Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment for the American Academy of Family Physicians
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