CMS Releases 2016 Proposed Medicare Physician Schedule; Proposes Paying for End-of-Life Discussions

The proposed rule for how CMS/Medicare will pay physicians in 2016 was released with an underlying .5% fee increase for all physicians. Medical oncology and imaging escaped with no fee cuts; however, radiation will be cut by 3% and free-standing radiation centers will be cut by 9%. Most notably, CMS proposes to pay physicians to have end-of-life discussions with their patients. Other notable aspects of the proposed rule include implementation of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System mandated by the SGR legislation passed by Congress and requirements on submitting appropriate use criteria for advanced imaging.

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