NEW YORK (Reuters Health)—The proposed collapsing of payment amounts for levels 2 to 5 evaluation and management (E/M) services by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would have different financial impacts on different specialties, researchers report.
“Specialists that tend to have more complicated and/or longer visits would lose money, and specialists that have less complicated and/or shorter visits would make more money,” Dr. Brian C. Callaghan of the University of Michigan Health System, in Ann Arbor, told Reuters Health by email. “The policy encourages shorter visits, which is not what most patients desire.”
Current payments range from $45–211 for levels 2 to 5. The proposed change would allow payments of $93 for return visits and $135 for new patients for an E/M level that collapses the previous levels 2 to 5.
Dr. Callaghan and colleagues used the 2013 Medicare Physician and Other Supplier File to compare the current billing levels across specialties and to estimate the financial impact of the proposed changes.