Medicare Eliminates Physician Consultation Codes for 2010


The CMS has released on November 25, 2009 its final 2010 Physicians Fee Schedule. One of the most significant changes was the elimination of payment for consultation codes as of January 1, 2010.

This does not mean physicians can no longer do consultative work, it just means that they will have to bill these services differently than they do now witht the use of E&M codes (Evaluation and Management).

1. Consultation codes 99241-99245 (outpatient/office) and 99251-99255 (inpatient) have been eliminated effective January 1, 2010.  Telehealth consultation G-codes (G0425-G0427) will not be eliminated.
2. Starting January 1, 2010, E&M CPT codes for new (99201-99205) or established (99211-99215) patients should be used to replace consultations in the office/outpatient setting.

EVALUATION & MANAGEMENT SERVICES GUIDE
MEDICARE/CMS PRESS RELEASE
READ THE FINAL RULE HERE
MORE FROM THE WEB HERE

The Role Of The FDA – By S. D. Reimers, PE

The Role of the FDA with regards to hyperbaric medicine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has what could be called a “background” role in modern clinical hyperbarics. It is generally out of sight, but ALWAYS there. With the accelerating expansion of clinical hyperbarics into mainstream medicine, the FDA’s role is becoming more important.

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION
READ THE REST HERE

CMS Concedes to Relax Outpatient Physician Supervision Requirements for 2010 – FINAL RULE

business-people-celebrate-on-gradient-background-thumb6295091
GREAT NEWS!!!!! Just when we all thought CMS was going to continue their draconian requirements for physician supervision of outpatient hyperbaric treatments (i.e. Physician needs to be in the department while HBO treatments were ongoing), they actually went the opposite direction. It didn’t come easy, it took much protest from some of the largest physician groups and health care organizations in the country to convince CMS that the rules were going to make access to care almost impossible for Medicare beneficiaries.

From CMS:
Supervision of Hospital Outpatient Services:

* Supervision requirements for outpatient services – In order to ensure that hospital outpatient services are appropriately supervised by qualified practitioners while not impeding beneficiary access to these services, and in response to concerns raised by the hospital community, CMS is revising or further defining several current policies for the supervision of outpatient services. First, in CY 2010, CMS will allow certain nonphysician practitioners ‑ specifically physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives, and licensed clinical social workers ‑ to provide direct supervision for all hospital outpatient therapeutic services that they are authorized to personally perform according to their state scope of practice rules and hospital-granted privileges. Under current policy, only physicians may provide the direct supervision of these services.

For purposes of on-campus hospital outpatient therapeutic services, CMS is defining “direct supervision” to mean that the physician or nonphysician practitioner must be present anywhere on the hospital campus and immediately available to furnish assistance and direction throughout the performance of the procedure. For services furnished in an off-campus provider-based department, “direct supervision” would continue to mean that the physician or nonphysician practitioner must be present in the off-campus provider-based department and immediately available to furnish assistance and direction throughout the performance of the procedure.

READ THE ORIGINAL POST HERE (AUG 2009)

READ THE NEW UPDATE HERE (NOV 2009)

READ IT STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH HERE (CMS LINK)