An American Medical Association leader had a few good things to say about a final rule the CMS issued Thursday on the Medicare fee schedule.
In a prepared statement, AMA President-elect Dr. Ardis Hoven
said the association was pleased the CMS "included some of our key recommendations in the final Medicare fee schedule rule."
Among those AMA pleasers Hoven mentioned was the CMS' adoption of two AMA-developed current procedural terminology, or CPT, codes for new transitional care management services. The final rule "supports physicians working in emerging models of care and the work involved in transitioning patients from one care setting to the next," Hoven said. She also praised the CMS' "increasing the size of groups that will be affected by the initial value-based modifier policy."
In addition, Hoven lauded the CMS' decision to modify the Medicare e-prescribing program by adding an appeals process and two new penalty-avoidance exemptions for those physicians who are participating in the CMS-administered electronic health-record system incentive payment program.
But the AMA leader's missive also included what has become an annual fall warning about the looming cuts in Medicare reimbursements if Congress does not amend the physician fee schedule.
"The release of the Medicare physician fee schedule rule reminds patients, physicians and Congress that the time to act to prevent looming Medicare cuts is now," Hoven said. "Without quick Congressional action, physicians who care for Medicare patients will be hit with a 26.5% cut in payments on Jan. 1 due to the flawed Medicare physician payment formula. Eliminating this failed formula will allow us to enter a period when physicians can begin transitioning to new payment and delivery models to help meet the overall goal of improving patient care and moving to a higher performing Medicare program."