CMS just announced a proposal to pay physicians a flat $93 for every office visit, no matter the length or complexity of the visit. The change would take place on January 1, 2019
No more E and M codes, no more “Levels of Service.”
The only way to explain this change is that the CMS wants to drive patients to Medicare Advantage.
No one with a chronic disease would want to receive their care where the clinician is paid a flat fee per visit. The doctor wouldn’t spend enough time with them—in fact, they would be incentivized not to.
The change to a flat payment scheme is a seismic, generational shift in policy.
E and M coding has been in place for more than 40 years. If this change is approved after the 90 day comment period, levels of service as we know them are going away—and once gone, they will never come back.
More on the implications of this decision to come, but for now, ready your Medicare Advantage care systems—you’re going to need them!