Conservative Doctors: Your New Medicare Payment Schedule Released – Tell Us What it Means to You

This week, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a “proposed” rule updating what Doctors and Hospitals will be paid under ObamaCare. The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) ushers-in changes to the “Physician Quality Reporting System,” and makes changes to the “Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier.” Considering that Obama and Democrats in Congress cut $500 Billion from Medicare, I would love to hear Physicians weigh-in on this “proposed rule.”

ObamaCare

Under the MPFS, a relative value is assigned to each of more than 7,000 types of services to capture the amount of work, the direct and indirect (overhead) practice expenses, and the malpractice expenses typically involved in furnishing the service.  The higher the number of relative value units (RVUs) assigned to a service, the higher the payment.  The RVUs for a particular service are multiplied by a fixed-dollar conversion factor and a geographic adjustment factor to determine the payment amount for each service.

If I read the announcement correctly, Physicians interest rates deducted for equipment costs and writing-off equipment “maturity” will be reduced by 3% to 5%.

There will be  reductions in “Multiple Procedure Payments.”

More preventative measures will be paid for, known as Medicare Telehealth Services:

These include: annual alcohol misuse screening, brief behavioral counseling for alcohol misuse, annual face-to-face intensive behavioral therapy for cardiovascular disease, annual depression screening, behavioral counseling for obesity, and  semi-annual high intensity behavioral counseling to prevent sexually transmitted infections.  In addition, CMS is proposing to add alcohol and/or substance abuse assessment and intervention services to the list of Medicare telehealth services for CY 2013.

Getting inside your head (as a part of “Middle Class Tax Relief):

Under the proposal, therapists will be required to include new codes and modifiers on claims for therapy services that will not affect payment, but will convey information about patients’ functional limitations at the outset of therapy, periodically throughout therapy, and at discharge from therapy.  Information on therapist-established patient goals will also be collected under this proposal.

The entire document is here and contains far more than represented above. Comments from Physicians are welcome. Tell us what all this means, please.