ACC Comments on 2017 Medicare Physician Payment Rule

The ACC submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the 2017 proposed Physician Fee Schedule rule, which will impact members next year. Under the proposal, physicians will see a 0.1 percent conversion factor payment decrease on Jan. 1, 2017. CMS estimates that the physician rule will increase payments to cardiologists 1 percent from 2016 to 2017. This estimate is based on typical practice and can vary widely depending on the mix of services provided in a practice. Review a full overview of the proposals included in the rule.

In its comments, the ACC offered suggestions to improve the Agency’s proposals for implementation of the appropriate use criteria (AUC) mandate for advanced diagnostic imaging. “The College believes that the current methodology of identifying priority clinical areas based on ICD-9 diagnosis codes and Medicare payments is flawed and that CMS should explore a different methodology, particularly if the Agency plans initial implementation of AUC consultation for priority clinical areas only,” noted the letter. “Before finalizing the priority clinical areas, CMS should collect at least one year of data from the start of the program and use it to identify areas where the program can help reduce variation.”

The ACC also objected to plans for granular reporting of time to capture services within global surgical periods; recommended changes to payment proposals for a number of specific cardiovascular services; and addressed many other topics. Read the full comments.

CMS will finalize its proposals with any revisions by November. 

Clinical Topics: Noninvasive Imaging

Keywords: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S.), Diagnostic Imaging, Fee Schedules, International Classification of Diseases, Medicaid, Medicare, Physicians, Referral and Consultation, United States


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