CMS Posts Final Payment Rules for Physicians and Outpatient Care in 2011
According to American Medical Association President Cecil Wilson, physician payments will be cut by 25% under the new rules if Congress does not take action this month.
Wilson said, "Physicians are anxious about the future, and making decisions now about how many Medicare patients they can see and their participation status in Medicare for next year" (Reichard/Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 11/2).
In the rules governing outpatient and ambulatory services, CMS outlined proposals for 16 non-surgical, extended-duration services that initially will require physician or non-physician practitioner supervision and then will allow general supervision for the remainder of the service, Modern Healthcare reports (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 11/2).
These procedures and services include:
- Direct admission for hospital observation care;
- Intravenous infusions; and
- Subcutaneous infusions.
CMS will seek input from an advisory committee to assess and recommend changes to rules concerning supervision for outpatient therapeutic services (AHA News, 11/2).
Meanwhile, CMS reduced home health care payment rates by 3.79% to account for a change in the patient mix -- which is not related to actual variation in patient acuity -- and to incorporate new requirements for face-to-face encounters with health care providers, CQ HealthBeat reports (CQ HealthBeat, 11/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.