On September 8, the American Medical Association (AMA) released a new code to report the additional practice expenses incurred during a public health emergency (PHE) that is over and above those usually included in a medical visit or service. The code accounts for the additional supplies, materials, and clinical staff time associated with evaluation, management and procedural services provided during the current PHE.
On August 3, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that includes proposals to update payment policies and payment rates for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2021. While the proposed rule predicts an almost 11% overall reduction in payments, the impact will not affect all physicians and specialties in the same manner. In fact, pain management specialists may realize a 7% increase overall in Medicare payments.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a Medicare Learning Network (MLN) article with an effective date of June 12, 2020. The article summarizes the policy changes impacting the Physician Fee Schedule during the time of this Public Health Emergency (PHE). During the early part of the PHE, numerous changes were made to reimbursement policies associated with telehealth and non-face-to-face services. The article addresses the cumulative changes that occurred over this period. Specifically, the following topics are addressed:
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its Final Rule for 2020 that that includes proposals to update payment policies, payment rates, and quality provisions for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). As proposed, the 2020 PFS conversion factor is $36.09 which is $0.05 above the 2019 conversion factor. The conversion factor is multiplied by the total adjusted Relative Value Units (RVUs) to achieve a payment amount for the services included in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.
AAPM members have asked about the impact on their practices of the CMS proposal for opioid treatment services. Starting January 1, 2020 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to pay Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) for opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment services, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) medications, toxicology testing, and counseling, when given to people with Medicare Part B.
The Proposed Rule for the 2020 Physician Fee Schedule proposes values for intrathecal/epidural pump procedures (CPT codes 62367-62370), the new codes for injection and ablation of genicular nerves (temporary CPT 64XX0 and 64XX1) and sacroiliac joint (temporary CPT 6XX00 and 6XX01), and somatic nerve injections (CPT codes 64405, 64418, 64420, 64421, 64425, 64430, and 64450).
Medicare recently announced a plan to streamline the process of finding coverage and documentation requirements for applicable services. Currently, documentation requirements appear in various locations and on separate websites requiring physicians and staff to navigate multiple websites for information.