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CMS hit the brakes on making imminent changes to the oft-used E/M code set that’s tied to billions of dollars in medical practice revenue. Streamlined payment rates are off the table for 2019, as are vast documentation revisions, according to the 2,378-page final 2019 Medicare physician fee schedule released Nov. 1. Once you’ve read through our detailed breaking news, take our quick, confidential survey to share your opinion.
The Balanced Budget Act of 2018 contains good news for anesthesia practices in 52 localities. The law raises the practice work geographic practice cost index (GPCI) to 1.000 in the 52 localities, which will in turn lift the locality-adjusted conversion factor for anesthesia services, and the increase will be retroactive to Jan. 1.
The slight increase in the conversion factor means little or no change in reimbursement for most of your E/M codes and other high volume services – with two exceptions.
Brace for a big shake-up to E/M coding. CMS announced its intention to pursue “comprehensive reform of E/M documentation guidelines” in the 2018 proposed Medicare physician fee schedule released July 13.
CMS beat its deadline for issuing a revised value file for the 2016 physician fee schedule, but we've unearthed one surprise in the new file.

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