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The Quality Payment Program is delaying a major overhaul planned for 2021: Its MVP (MIPS Value Pathways) upgrade, which was meant to move participants “away from siloed activities and measures and towards an aligned set of measures that are more relevant to a clinician’s scope of practice,” has been delayed due to “stakeholder concerns” and COVID-19. Instead, CMS will make “additions to the framework’s guiding principles and development criteria” for 2022.
 
 
You can expect to see wild swings to Medicare pay rates in 2021, according to proposals CMS released this morning. The agency announced a nearly 11% cut to the Medicare physician fee schedule’s conversion factor (CF), dropping it to a rate of $32.26 next year, down from $36.09 in 2020.
 
Influencing the substantial decrease to the CF are the projected pay increases to the core set of E/M office visit codes (99202-99215). CMS confirmed that the E/M office visit codes remain on track for their first major overhaul in 25 years, according to the proposed 2021 Medicare physician fee schedule.
 
 
Coders and medical practice staff can get a head start on a series of updated rules for diagnosis coding – the 2021 version of the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines on Coding and Reporting was issued today – weeks ahead of the typical early August release date.
 
 
Coders will have hundreds of new ICD-10-CM codes to report Oct. 1, including codes for sickle cell anemia and osteoporosis. In addition, they’ll find a series of new options for headache codes.
 
 
A phone call with a patient — plus complete documentation — will be all it takes to report 89 services on Medicare's telehealth list. Practices will also be able to receive full reimbursement for 39 new services performed via telehealth, according to the updated telehealth list posted today. The changes are retroactive to March 1.
 

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