We’re Wading In … 5 Things to Know about the 2014 Medicare Fee Schedule

Lea Chatham December 17th, 2013

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On Wednesday, November 27, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its finalized 2014 Medicare fee schedule. The rule was published on December 10 and the new fee schedule goes into effect on January 1.

As always, there is a lot to wade through—some specialties are affected more than others. We know what you care about most is your bottom line. Here are 5 key changes that could have a big impact on your reimbursement:

  1. There is a planned 20.1 percent sustainable growth rate (SGR) cut in Medicare reimbursement for professional services, but this may be repealed by Congress before January 1. According to an article in Medical Economics, “Congressional leaders have a plan that would repeal the SGR and implement a 10-year pay freeze and performance-based incentive program. But it’s unclear whether the proposal will garner enough support to pass before the looming Jan. 1 deadline.” Another article in MedPageToday provides more detail on the proposed SGR repeal and its impact.
  2. The big winners for Medicare payment increases are in mental health — clinical psychologists and social workers (8%), chiropractors (12%), and psychiatrists (6%). Tweet This
  3. Unfortunately, there are also some additional reductions for some specialties such as allergists (-3%), pathologists (-6%), rheumatologists (-4%), and interventional pain management specialists (-4%).
  4. There is now reimbursement for telehealth services in rural areas that qualify as health professional shortage areas. In addition, according to iHealthBeat, telehealth reimbursement rates for originating patient sites will increase from $24.43 to $24.63.
  5. And, there are some new options for reimbursement for chronic care management services that begin in 2015. According to CMS, care management includes the development and implementation of a care plan, patient and caregiver communication, and medication management. Look for more coming from CMS on how this will work.

If you’re interested in learning more about the new Medicare Fee Schedule and other reimbursement changes coming in 2014, join Elizabeth Woodcock for her free webinar Getting Paid in 2014.

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