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Medicare proposes changes to primary care payment

July 13, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has, for the first time, proposed expanding a preventive service model from the CMS Innovation Center into the Medicare program.

Expanding the Diabetes prevention Program within Medicare is among the proposed improvements to the Physician Fee Schedule that would change how Medicare pays for services provided by primary care physicians and other practitioners for patients with multiple chronic conditions, mental and behavioral health issues as well as cognitive impairment or mobility-related impairments.

“Today’s proposals are intended to give a significant lift to the practice of primary care and to boost the time a physician can spend with their patients listening, advising and coordinating their care – both for physical  and mental health,” says CMS Acting Administrator Andrew Slavitt. “If this rule is finalized, it will put our nation’s money where its mouth is by continuing to recognize the importance of prevention, wellness and mental health and chronic disease management.”

The changes align with Medicare’s priorities and reward physicians for quality care through the Quality Payment Program.