New CMS Rules Pay Docs for Care Coordination, Follow-up Care

Regs also loosen up physician supervision rules for PAs
Robert Calandra

CMS released a final rule late last week that it says will streamline billing and coding so doctors can spend more time with patients. The new regulation will also update physician payment in the Medicare program as part of an executive order President Trump issued early in October.

One new payment code, dubbed Principle Care Management, is part of the the new rules and will create incentives for physicians to focus on improving care for chronic conditions. It allows doctors to be paid separately for managing care coordination and follow-up for patients with diabetes, hypertension, and other high-risk conditions.

CMS noted that payments to practitioners will increase for the transitional care they provide as patients move from the hospital to follow-up care. The rule will also increase reimbursement for managing multiple chronic conditions.

Medpage Today reported that the new rule will loosen up physician supervision requirements for physician assistants and that the Medicare program will now "defer to state law and scope of practice.