Proposed regulatory changes could work in your favor
If you feel weighed down by a multitude of government regulations, you’re not alone.
But good news is on the horizon.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the proposed physician fee schedule for 2019 … and the changes may work in your favor. CMS heard the outcry from physicians over the past year and responded to several of the major pain points.
With updates aimed at reducing the administrative burden and streamlining recording processes, the CMS proposals may make participation in programs such as MIPS more conducive to your practice.
One of the major provisions you’ll find targets Evaluation and Management (E&M) coding, which is a struggle for many providers. CMS understands the number of onerous documentation required for E&M coding and is implementing steps to reduce fee rates from five to two. These changes are scheduled to go live Jan. 1, 2019.
Changes are coming for telehealth, as well, and these will bring new revenue opportunities for physicians. Using newer technology to communicate with patients or other providers doesn’t align with the current Medicare definition of telehealth, which is subject to restrictions. CMS is, however, expanding telehealth services covered by Medicare to include prolonged preventive services.
Updates are on the way for MACRA, specifically the Quality Payment Program.
Changes also have been proposed for promoting interoperability — formerly known as Advancing Care Information and Meaningful Use. Expect to see several measures removed, mainly those focused on patients using technology and sending secure messages.
You’ll also see changes to reporting periods regarding the number of days for promoting improvement activities and interoperability.
The last major proposal you’ll want to keep an eye on is reporting thresholds. Example: The MIPS performance threshold — the number of points you need to earn to avoid a penalty — is set at 15 for 2018, and next year could be set at 30.
The methods providers use to participate in quality programs will see significant changes in the year ahead, so it pays to stay connected to resources you can trust.
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