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CMS to Increase Payments to Primary Care Physicians in CY 2013

Posted in Payer/Insurance Reform

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that will increase Medicare payments to primary care physicians by 7 percent and other practitioners providing primary care services between 3 and 5 percent.  This proposed payment increase is part of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for calendar year (CY) 2013 and illustrates CMS’ commitment to promoting quality health care for beneficiaries.  As a part of the MPFS, CMS plans to pay for the care necessary to help a patient transition back into the community following a discharge from a hospital or skilled nursing facility.  Under the proposed rule, CMS will make a separate payment to the beneficiary’s community physician to arrange for the beneficiary’s care in the 30 days following his or her discharge.  Additionally, CMS is seeking public comment on ways that the agency can more effectively recognize the range of services provided by community physicians as part of treating beneficiaries through in-person services or coordinating outpatient care when the beneficiary is not treated by his or her community physician.  The proposed MPFS will appear in the Federal Register on July 30, 2012.