CMS 2016 Proposed Physician Fee Schedule Includes AOA Board Certification
On July 8, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed Physician Fee Schedule rule that sets Medicare Part B payment rates for 2016. In response to advocacy efforts by the AOA, the rule now proposes to add AOA board certification information for physicians listed on Physician Compare, the CMS website that provides physician performance information to the public. Currently, the site only lists American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certification, and therefore could potentially be misleading in how it portrays osteopathic physicians with an AOA specialty certification.
Other provisions in the rule include:
• Establishing separate payment for advance care planning codes to provide Medicare beneficiaries an opportunity to discuss their wishes regarding end-of-life care with their physician
• A 0.5 percent overall payment update, as required under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which permanently repealed the sustainable growth rate (SGR) earlier this year
• Payment adjustments to specialties, including a 5 percent reduction for gastroenterologists, a 3 percent reductions for radiation oncologists, and an 8 percent increase for pathologists
• New quality measures to fill in current gaps in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), as well as eliminating those that might be redundant or duplicative
• A request for suggestions on clinical practice improvement activities and alternative payment models that should be included under MACRA
The public may provide comment on the proposed rule until September 8, and the AOA will be weighing in on behalf of osteopathic physicians.