Mostly praise, but some criticism 4 changes proposed By CMS into Medicare payments, MIPS #Proposed_RuleAugust 3, 2019
There was a lot for physicians to like in a proposed rule issued this week for 2020 Medicare payment rates and changes to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
Physician groups were happy the government pulled back on once-controversial changes to evaluation and management (E/M) services, but one group said proposed changes to MIPS will not push practices to transition to value-based care.
Instead of the chance to earn up to a 9% adjustment on Medicare Part B payments in 2022, CMS estimates the overall payment adjustment will be 1.4% under the proposed rule, the AGMA said in a statement .
“In light of this significantly reduced adjustment, AMGA is concerned that MIPS is no longer a transition tool to value-based care, but instead represents a regulatory burden that does not support physician group practices and integrated systems of care that are investing in delivery models based on care coordination and improving population health,” the organization said.
On the other hand, physician organizations praised CMS for backing away from modifications it proposed last year to overhaul E/M codes that would have paid physicians the same amount for an office visit even when caring for the most complex patients.
“Evaluation and management (E/M) visits have been undervalued for many years, which really hurts physicians practicing in primary care.
CMS proposes to retain five levels of coding for established patients, reduce the number of levels to four for office/outpatient visits for new patients and revise the code definitions.
“Developed in partnership between the AMA and CMS and with broad input from the medical community, the proposal reflects the increasing complexity of these services and the resources required to provide them, and represents a significant step toward reducing administrative and documentation burdens in medicine,” said AMA President Patrice Harris, M.D.
Among the changes it applauded were increased payments for office/outpatient E/M visits starting in 2021.
“By making changes to shore up payment for primary care services, CMS is ensuring that they are putting patients first and helping them access the care they need,” Robert McLean, M.D., ACP president, said in a statement .
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