The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (Medicare PFS) on October 31, 2014. The final rule updates payment policies and payment rates for services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries by physicians and other practitioners. The provisions of the final rule are effective on January 1, 2015.
Under the Medicare PFS final rule, physician payment rates will be reduced by 21.2 percent after March 2015. In April 2014, President Obama signed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, which prohibited a reduction in the PFS rates from January through March 2015. However, when this temporary solution expires, absent a change in law, there will be a large reduction in PFS rates.
Some other provisions included in the Medicare PFS final rule include:
The Medicare PFS final rule is one of several rules governing provider and supplier payments that reflect a broader strategy to deliver higher quality care at lower cost. In the Medicare PFS final rule, CMS seeks to find better ways to pay physicians and other practitioners and deliver care in order to achieve better health outcomes and improve coordination across the health care system.
The final rule is set for publication on November 13, 2014, in the Federal Register with the public comment period open until December 30, 2014.