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  • MedPAC Support for Balanced Medicare Payments a First Step


    News Release

    The Medicare Payment Advisory Committee’s statement in its June 15 report to Congress, that a 10 percent increase in payments for physicians providing evaluation and management services in outpatient settings would add balance to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule represents an important step. The statement is a start toward a needed, broader effort to address the compensation disparity between cognitive physicians, including infectious diseases doctors, whose work relies largely on interactions with patients, and those physicians who provide procedure-based services.

    IDSA appreciates the report’s call for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to accelerate efforts to improve the accuracy of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, to ensure access to the physician specialists who provide care that is cognitive based as opposed to procedure based and to send a positive signal to medical students and residents considering cognitive specialties. We also believe that MedPAC’s recommendation should encompass both inpatient and outpatient evaluation and management codes to address the full spectrum of important services included in infectious disease care and prevention. In addition, while a one-time payment increase signifies progress, a more complete review and revaluation of evaluation and management codes is still needed to ensure that the codes reflect the complexity of care provided to infectious diseases patients, and to address a compensation inequity that contributes to the decline in the numbers of new infectious disease physicians, at a time when many more are needed.

    IDSA will continue to urge MedPAC to expand its recommendation to include inpatient evaluation and management codes. We call for Congress to support the prospective MedPAC recommendations and to direct CMS to undertake the research necessary for a more comprehensive review and revaluation of the evaluation and management codes.

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