COA Submits Formal Comments on 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

September 10, 2018

CMS Proposes Changes to Evaluation and Management, Infusion Services, and Same Day Visit Codes in 2019 MPFS

Today the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) submitted formal comments to Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), regarding the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

COA’s formal comments focused on CMS proposals to cut payments for evaluation and management (E&M) services, the administration of chemotherapy infusions, and modifier codes which allow patients with cancer to reduce multiple visits to their oncologists.

CMS put forth these changes in an admirable effort to reduce Medicare bureaucracy and documentation requirements so that physicians can spend more time on actual patient care, not data entry and paperwork. However, as COA notes, the changes proposed would have little impact on bureaucratic paperwork but could have a significant impact on patient care and practice operations.

As part of the comment letter COA also offers Physician Fee Schedule recommendations and potential solutions for CMS to advance meaningful, patient-centered oncology payment and delivery system reforms. These include changes that allow oncologists to spend more time with patients, coordinating care, discussing therapy options, and answering questions.