CMS Finalizes Changes to Advance Innovation, Restore Focus on Patients

Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program will shift clinicians’ time from completing unnecessary paperwork to providing innovative, high-quality patient care.

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized bold proposals that address provider burnout and provide clinicians immediate relief from excessive paperwork tied to outdated billing practices. The final 2019 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and the Quality Payment Program (QPP) rule released today also modernizes Medicare payment policies to promote access to virtual care, saving Medicare beneficiaries time and money while improving their access to high-quality services, no matter where they live. It makes changes to ease health information exchange through improved interoperability and updates QPP measures to focus on those that are most meaningful to positive outcomes. Today’s rule also updates some policies under Medicare’s accountable care organization (ACO) program that streamline quality measures to reduce burden and encourage better health outcomes, although broader reforms to Medicare’s ACO program were proposed in a separate rule. This rule is projected to save clinicians $87 million in reduced administrative costs in 2019 and $843 million over the next decade.

Read more: CMS Finalizes Changes to Advance Innovation, Restore Focus on Patients

Attention NY Workers Compensation Providers, New HCFA-1500 (CMS 1500) Rules

Starting January 1, 2019, New York workers’ compensation providers may submit original bills using the CMS 1500 form, rather than New York-specific forms C-4, C-4.2, OT/PT-4, PS-4, and C-AMR. Providers nationwide use the CMS 1500 to bill Medicare and group health plans for professional services.

But while the CMS 1500 is a universal billing form, workers’ comp differs significantly from Medicare and group health. The New York Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) will therefore impose specific requirements for properly completing this form in a workers’ comp context.

Read more: Attention NY Workers Compensation Providers, New HCFA-1500 (CMS 1500) Rules

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