The elimination of Medicare’s consultation codes has had a negative impact on physician efforts to improve care coordination and reduced the treatment options available to Medicare patients, according to a new survey released today by medical specialty societies and the American Medical Association (AMA). Consultation codes are used most frequently by specialists after a patient referral from a primary care physician.
The survey indicates that the approximately 5,500 physicians who completed the survey have been forced to take a number of cost-cutting steps to offset revenue losses associated with the elimination of these codes.
After analyzing survey data, representatives of these specialties and the AMA identified several technical improvements that would make the policy more equitable. They joined with 16 other organizations in a letter outlining their concerns and asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to review and modify its current policy to prevent further deterioration of care coordination between physicians.
For more information on the survey results, the organization letter, and survey participants, please visit the American Medical Association website.
American Medical Association. "New Physician Survey Find Medicare Payment Change Hurts Care Coordination Efforts: Medical OrganizationsCall on CMS to Review Consultation Code Policy."
AMA. July 16, 2010. Web. July 201, 2010.