Proposed Medicare Fee Schedule Includes Features Favorable to Palliative Care
On Monday, August 3rd, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed Physician Fee Schedule for calendar year 2021. As anticipated, CMS has increased the value for office/outpatient Evaluation & Management (E&M) codes, with some experts estimating an increase of 17%. In addition, CMS has added several codes commonly used by palliative care clinicians to be reimbursed when provided via telehealth – meaning both audio and video – including care planning for cognitive impairment (99483) and home-based visits (99347-99350). The current proposal does not include reimbursement for visits provided via telephone (audio only), but CMS has asked for comments on this; all comments from the public are due to CMS by October 5th, and the formal solicitation is slated for August 17th.
The fact sheet on the proposed rule can be found here.