HealthBI President Scott McFarland Quoted in Article in Medical Economics: “CMS Changes Impacting Primary Care for the Better”
HealthBI president, Scott McFarland, was quoted in a February 21, 2018 online article entitled, “CMS Changes Impacting Primary Care for the Better,” published by ModernMedicine Network’s Medical Economics®, a subscription-based source for health care provider news and analysis.
The article reported that, “The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is increasingly willing to increase reimbursement rates for managing the care of the high-need, high-cost patients with chronic conditions,” according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute.
The article stated that this is noteworthy because until a few years ago, Medicare didn’t pay doctors for tasks that weren’t part of a face-to-face visit—things like taking a phone call from a patient after hours or communicating with other providers about a patient’s care—activities that can take up a quarter to half of a primary care physician’s day.
Nearly 70 percent of traditional Medicare beneficiaries have multiple chronic conditions but generate 93 percent of Medicare spending. Medicare implemented new Chronic Care Management billing codes in 2015 to allow physicians to get paid for this type of work, providing new revenue sources for primary care practitioners.
McFarland said, “Providers should start making a point of asking the payers, health plans and networks they contract with what tools and services will be available to help them better manage patients with chronic illnesses. Bottom line: Successful management of such populations requires access to the right data—real time data that shows whole patient health.”