November 2, 2012
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule with comment period on November 1, 2012 for Medicare’s payments for physician fees for 2013. It includes a new policy to pay a patient’s physician or practitioner to coordinate the patient’s care in the 30 days following a hospital or skilled nursing facility stay. Recognizing the work of community physicians and practitioners in treating a patient following discharge from a hospital or nursing facility will ensure better continuity of care for these patients and help reduce patient readmissions. The changes in care coordination payment and other changes in the rule are expected to increase payment to family practitioners by seven percent—and other primary care practitioners between three and five percent—if Congress averts the statutorily required reduction in Medicare’s physician fee schedule.
The final rule with comment period also includes a statutorily required 26.5 percent across-the-board reduction to Medicare payment rates for more than 1 million physicians and non-physician practitioners under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) methodology.
The final rule can be viewed here. Additionally, please find CMS Fact Sheet here.
The comment period closes on December 31, 2012.