Medicare Finalizes Substantial Improvements that Focus on Primary Care, Mental Health, and Diabetes Prevention

On November 2, CMS finalized the 2017 Physician Fee Schedule final rule that recognizes the importance of primary care by improving payment for chronic care management and behavioral health. The rule also finalizes many of the policies to expand the Diabetes Prevention Program model test to eligible Medicare beneficiaries, the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) expanded model, starting January 1, 2018.

The annual Physician Fee Schedule updates payment policies, payment rates, and quality provisions for services provided in CY 2017. In addition to physicians, a variety of practitioners and entities are paid under the physician fee schedule.

Additional policies finalized in the 2017 payment rule include:

  • Primary care and care coordination
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Cognitive impairment care assessment and planning

The 2017 payment rule will also:

  • Finalize a data collection strategy for global services with significantly reduced burden for practitioners compared to the proposal
  • Finalize a change that will more accurately reflect local costs and significantly increase payments to practitioners in Puerto Rico
  • Enhance program integrity and data transparency in the Medicare Advantage program.

For More Information:

See full text of this excerpted CMS press release here.

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