Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Could four conditions help doctors save Medicare money?

Logo Source: Med City News
The American Medical Association recently sent a request for Medicare to start paying doctors for four tasks that will allow Medicare to save more health care money in the long run by encouraging patients to get their questions answered before they go to the emergency room.

Health Leaders Media reports the four tasks that they have requested for reimbursement are:

  • -Responding to calls from patients at least seven days past doctors visits
  • -Education and training to help patients better manage their health
  • -Management of coagulataen drugs
  • -Reimbursement for team coordination when patients aren't

Barbara Levy, MD, chairperson of the AMA's Specialty Society RVS (Relative Value Scale) Update Committee, issued the following in a recent release:
“When treating patients with chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, physicians provide many services that are currently not recognized or compensated by Medicare. Not only will payment for these services save Medicare money in unnecessary office and emergency room visits......potential savings in Medicare Parts A and D will also offset upfront payment for non–face-to-face services."

At the 9th Medicare Congress, the panel Strengthening Medicare – Better Health and Lower Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries a group of panelists will be discussing the latest changes to Medicare and how better coordinated care can save the industry money.  For more information, download the agenda here.

Do you agree with Levy's statements? Could reimbursing doctors for time spent doing the four things listed above save the Medicare organization more money in the long run?

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