Surgeons protest CMS proposal requiring them to code every 10 minutes

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Surgeons are speaking out against a Medicare proposal that would require them to use new billing codes to track their work in 10-minute increments during global surgical "packages" that span 10 days and 90 days, reports Medscape Medical News. The "packages" include preoperative and postoperative care.

Here are three takeaways on the issue.

  • Many groups have filed protests with CMS related to this requirement, according to the article. These include the American College of Surgeons, the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Medical Association.
  • Medscape Medical News cites a survey of some 7,000 surgeons conducted by 23 medical societies, in which 37 percent of participants estimated that compliance would cost them between $25,000 and $100,000 in terms of modifying EHR and billing systems, hiring scribes to document all 10-minute segments of work during a global period and seeing fewer patients, among other changes.
  • The CMS proposal appears in the proposed Medicare Part B fee schedule for 2017.

For more on this story, and a look at the back story surrounding this issue, read Robert Lowes' full report in Medscape Medical News.


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