Proposed Medicare Fee Schedule Rewards Primary Care
Medicare would pay primary care physicians more for coordinating patient care and treating individuals with cognitive, mobility, and behavioral problems under the program’s proposed fee schedule for 2017. In addition, Medicare would expand a successful diabetes prevention pilot program that physicians can offer to patients with prediabetes. Andy Slavitt, the acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), said in a news release that the proposals would “give a significant lift to the practice of primary care and to boost the time a physician can spend with their patients listening, advising, and coordinating their care — both for physical and mental health.” According to the CMS, the changes will more accurately recognize and reward the cognitive work and care management performed by primary care physicians and other clinicians who do not specialize in procedures. For example, the proposed fee schedule creates new codes to pay for certain evaluation and management (E/M) services that previously were bundled into other payment codes and that were considered undervalued by many primary care physicians.
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.