Are Medicare procedure payments in jeopardy?

While hundreds of doctors have submitted (mostly unfavorable) comments to CMS on the proposed evaluation and management changes, there are other issues which seem to be receiving much less attention than they deserve. And one of those may hit physicians who perform procedures in the wallet.

In 2015, Congress asked CMS to analyze the global period data to ensure procedure weighting accurately reflected the actual work done by physicians. Of course, when Congress asks CMS to collect data, it also expects CMS to act upon that data, and in most cases, that means they want CMS to cut fees.

Most physicians are aware of the global period and have a general idea of the global period for most procedures they perform, but few know of its origins. The yearly physician fee schedule specifies the global period (0, 10 or 90 days) for every procedure and the Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule Physician Schedule specifies the type and duration of each visit included in that global period.

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