On Tuesday, December 1, officials at the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced changes to the Medicare payment system that will extend payment for more than 60 telehealth-delivered services, beyond the current public health emergency (PHE). The changes have been incorporated into the Calendar year 2021 Physician Fee Schedule final rule. CMS also announced changes that will affect the accountable care organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).
In a press release published to the agency’s website, CMS officials announced that:
“Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the annual Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule, prioritizing CMS’ investment in primary care and chronic disease management by increasing payments to physicians and other practitioners for the additional time they spend with patients, especially those with chronic conditions. The rule allows non-physician practitioners to provide the care they were trained and licensed to give, cutting red tape so healthcare professionals can practice at the top of their license and spend more time with patients instead of on unnecessary paperwork. This final rule takes steps to further implement President Trump’s Executive Order on Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors including prioritizing the expansion of proven alternatives like telehealth.”