Good and Bad News Regarding the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

When the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule came out last year, it really got everyone worried. In a time where we are all facing issues related to COVID, this seemed like a really big problem. Professional organizations lobbied and everyone tried to stop the proposed changes, and the 10.2% decrease didn’t happen, but other changes will still be taking place. So how bad is it really and how will it affect your organization?

HIPAA Penalty Changes

On January 5, 2021, H.R. 7898 was signed into law by President Trump. This new law modifies the HITECH Act such that when an organization experiences a breach, fines and/or penalties may be reduced if (for at least a year) they have instituted “recognized security practices” as defined within the law.

CMS Final Rule Changes E/M Reporting Guidelines

Just when we thought we had figured out Evaluation and Management (E/M) reporting for 2021, CMS released their final rule and now we will need to make some adjustments. While CMS stated that they were adopting the AMA guidelines for E/M office or other outpatient services, they did make a few changes.

Medicare Improper Payment Report for Chiropractic (2019)

CMS audits claims on an annual basis to identify improper payments. These improper payments do not measure fraud. Rather, they estimate the share of payments that did not meet Medicare coverage, coding, and billing rules. In the most recent Improper Payment Report by specialty, chiropractic has the highest Part B improper payment …

New ABN Form is Here

The anticipated changes to the Advanced Beneficiary Notice of Non-coverage (ABN) Form (CMS-R-131) have arrived. This important form is issued to the patient or client by providers, physicians, practitioners, and suppliers in situations where Medicare payment is expected to be denied.

You can begin using the new ABN immediately if you so wish. However, it becomes mandatory on August 31, 2020.

Watch for Payer Telehealth Coverage Changes

As our country moves forward with a phased approach to reopening, be sure to pay close attention to individual payer policies regarding how long these changes will remain in effect. Keep in mind that private payer, federal programs (Medicare, Medicaid), and Medicare Advantage plans can all have different timelines as well as different coverage.