docPayLate last month, the Trump administration announced a major plan that would affect more than thirty percent of the payments Medicare issues to physicians. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) calls the plan an important effort to cut down on paperwork and boost patient care. However, it is also being deemed potentially disastrous by some physicians and patient advocates.

The CMS plan would consolidate four levels of paperwork necessary for reimbursement and another four levels of payments in a single form and a single flat fee for all doctor appointments. However, separate filing systems would still exist for new and established patients. The administrator of CMS believes too much time is wasted by physicians tackling administrative tasks instead of concentrating on a patient’s care.

Critics of the plan believe that the negligible time savings do not outweigh the reduction in payments. With the new CMS plan, a flat fee would be offered for individual patient visits, regardless of whether the doctor is a specialist or primary care physician. A rheumatologist, for example, would see about a three percent decrease in Medicare reimbursement as these doctors generally see and bill for patients that are considered to be more complicated cases. There is also the possibility that paying doctors a reduced fee for each appointment may result in a greater number of short visits.

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This update is by Medical Accounts Systems, a full-service healthcare revenue cycle management company providing a number of services including insurance follow up and managed care disputes, physician reimbursement, hospital extended business office services, and more. For additional information on our services or for any questions you may have on topics such as medical debt collection, please call 877-759-6315.