Society Joins Opposition to CMS’ Proposed Cuts to E/M Pay

August 30, 2018
Policy Snapshot
This week, the Society joined the American Medical Association and over 150 other medical organizations in opposing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposal to simplify evaluation and management (E/M) coding. The CMS proposal would collapse payment rates for eight office visit services for new and established patients down to two each. The proposed simplification would increase payments for services now provided under E/M levels 2 and 3 but would decrease payments for the more complex services now provided under levels 4 and 5.

The groups stated that “there are a number of unanswered questions and potential unintended consequences that would result from the coding policies in the proposed rule… We oppose the implementation of this proposal because it could hurt physicians and other health care professionals in specialties that treat the sickest patients, as well as those who provide comprehensive primary care, ultimately jeopardizing patient’s access to care.”

The groups did support CMS’ efforts to reduce administrative burden for physicians and other health care professionals and urged CMS to adopt policies that change the required documentation of the patient’s history to focus only on the interval history since the previous visit; eliminate the requirement for physicians to re-document information that has already been documented in the patient’s record by practice staff or by the patients; and remove the need to justify providing a home visit instead of an office visit.

The Society plans to comment on the CMS proposed rule by the September 10 deadline.

To read the entire joint letter click here