Medicare Looks to Improve Care, Save Money by Paying Physicians for Transitional Care Management

Medicare News Group: 11/26/12

Physicians soon will begin receiving pay for some of the activities necessary to help patients transition smoothly from hospitals to community settings. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced it will bridge this missing link in physician payment policy in the hope that it can improve care for Medicare beneficiaries and save money by avoiding costly hospital readmissions.

On Nov. 1, the CMS accepted the American Medical Association’s (AMA) recommendations to compensate primary care physicians for transitional care management, moving a step closer to implementing key provisions of theAffordable Care Act emphasizing the importance of the patient-centered medical home.

Barbara Levy, M.D., a Washington OB/GYN and vice president of health policy for the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said for the first time the CMS has recognized and agreed to pay for practices designed to keep recently discharged hospital patients healthy. Levy said that actions like medication reconciliation, appointment reminders and other patient interactions make care transitions more seamless. Read More