CMS changes impacting primary care for the better

The U. S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is increasingly willing to increase reimbursement rates for managing the care of high-need, high-cost patients with chronic conditions, according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute revealed.

Additionally, Medicare is adding new billing codes to the Physician Fee Schedule that can be used to pay for the behind-the-scenes calls, emails and faxes that are often exchanged to manage the care of a complex patient or coordinate a patient’s transition out of the hospital.   

For example, prolonged E/M service without face-to-face contact with a patient, conducted before and/or after direct patient care and lasting 31–60 minutes now has a fee schedule of $131.41.

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