CMS Proposes Increased Pay for Physicians Who Manage Chronic Care

In the proposed rule for calendar year 2014, CMS would create separate payments for physicians who manage and coordinate care for Medicare patients with chronic health conditions.

According to CMS, Medicare would pay primary care physicians for "non-face-to-face complex chronic care management services for Medicare beneficiaries who have multiple, significant chronic conditions," or two or more conditions. This would go into effect in 2015. CMS said it hopes this policy would improve the management and decrease the costs of chronic diseases.

In addition, CMS proposed expanding payments for physicians who use telehealth services. Specifically, CMS would include sites designated as health professional shortage areas.

CMS did not issue any payment updates to the physician fee schedule since it is set by the sustainable growth rate under Congress. This past March, CMS said physician payments would have to be slashed 24.4 percent to make up for previous overrides of the SGR. Members of Congress are currently working on both temporary and permanent fixes to the SGR. Every year since 2003, Congress has overridden the SGR so physicians would not have to endure sizable cuts to their Medicare pay.

CMS will accept public comments until Sept. 6, and a final rule will be published Nov. 1. To view the proposed rule on Medicare physician fee schedule payments for next year, click here.

More Articles on Physicians and Medicare:
House Committees Flesh Out SGR Repeal Bill
Bill Would Create Panel to Oversee Medicare's Relative Value Scale Update Committee
CMS to Cut Physicians' Medicare Payments 26.5% in 2013 Unless SGR Bypassed

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