DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable Doris O. Matsui
Sent By:
Frannie.Einterz@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

 Concerns with the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule: Reimburse Physicians at Appropriate Rates

To Sign On: Complete this Form

Deadline: September 7th at Noon 

Dear Colleague,

We write to request your support for a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the recently released proposed rule for the Medicare 2019 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). As part of the agency’s laudable goal to substantially reduce
administrative burdens on providers, the proposed rule includes a concerning provision that would significantly alter the evaluation and management (E/M) codes payment rates.

Currently, the E/M codes range from levels 1 to 5. Level 1 corresponds to less complex, non-physician services, while Level 5 payment rates correspond to more complex physician services. However, in an effort to decrease paperwork, the agency is proposing
a consolidation of the E/M codes from five levels to two levels. This proposal devalues the expertise, clinical decision-making, and time of physicians who treat patients with more complex conditions.

Additionally, while consolidating these codes will reduce the administrative burden for some clinicians, creating add-on codes will increase cumbersome paperwork for physicians who treat more complex patients. This will ultimately defeat the initial goal
of the consolidation.

Further, it is concerning that the proposal also includes a separate set of E/M codes for podiatrists, which would create different valuation of services based on physician specialty. This is expressly prohibited under the Social Security Act Section 1848(c)(6)
and would also reduce reimbursement rates for podiatrists.

Finally, the rule proposes an implementation date of January 1, 2019, which is unlikely to provide physicians with the necessary time to adjust their administrative practices to comply.

If finalized, the PFS proposed rule would adversely impact a wide range of physician specialties and their patients. Given these concerns, we hope you will join us on the letter, below, urging CMS spend more time working closely with physicians and other
stakeholders in order to identify alternative methods to reimburse physicians at appropriate rates.

To sign the letter, please fill out the
google form here
no later than September, 7th at noon. Please direct any additional questions to
Greg.Brooks@mail.house.gov with Rep. Brad Wenstrup,
Kristen.Denheffner@mail.house.gov with Rep. Earl Blumenauer,  Meghan.Stringer@mail.house.gov with Rep. Marsha Blackburn, or
Frannie.Einterz@mail.house.gov with Rep. Doris Matsui.

Sincerely,

MARSHA BLACKBURN                                         EARL BLUMENAUER       

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

BRAD WENSTRUP                                                  DORIS MATSUI

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress