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AMA wants to extend locum tenens past 60 days; will CMS bite?

The American Medical Association (AMA) wants to widen the 60-day window within which physicians can be replaced by locum tenens equivalents. But a locum expert says CMS is unlikely to go for it.

At its annual meeting June 13, AMA's House of Delegates, which makes policy for the organization, advocated "that CMS create an exception process to the 60-day locum tenens limit so that physicians facing illnesses, family emergencies or prolonged absences after childbirth can take the time off that they need," according to an AMA press release

At the same session, the delegates voiced opposition to the Trump Administration's proposed caps on Medicaid funding and pledged to "promote physicians as board members for health care organizations including: acute care organizations, insurance companies, medical device manufacturers and health technology corporations."

Jennifer Searfoss, founder of the Ashburn, Va.-based consultancy and qualified clinical data registry SCG Health and a locum tenens expert, doesn't think CMS will heed AMA's call for a longer locum period. Her reasoning is simple: "To expand the current locum tenens policy would increase Medicare costs.”

(Searfoss will present a webinar on the subject, Master Locum Tenens Rules to Prevent Delayed or Denied Payments, on July 13 at 1 pm. Click here to register.)
Blog Tags: AMA, CMS, compliance
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