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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is conducting a study to help them improve your experience with Medicare program and billing resources. Share your thoughts with them by taking this survey today. Responses are confidential, and the survey should take about 15 minutes to complete.

CMS thanks you for your time and valuable feedback.

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has published the 2023 Data Book Health Care Spending and the Medicare Program, which provides information on national health care and Medicare spending as well as Medicare beneficiary demographics, dual-eligible beneficiaries, quality of care in the Medicare program, and Medicare beneficiary and other payer liability. It also examines provider settings — such as hospitals and post-acute care — and presents data on Medicare spending and beneficiaries’ access to care in the setting (measured by the number of beneficiaries using the service, number of providers, volume of services, length of stay, or through direct surveys). Specifically of interest is information on dual-eligible beneficiaries, including individuals with disabilities, and information on alternative payment models.

Caregiver supporting sick elderly man in the wheelchair during stay in the hospice

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced the new Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE) Model. The purpose and goal of this model is to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia, reduce strain on unpaid caregivers, and help people remain in their homes and communities through a package of care coordination and management, caregiver education and support, and respite services.

Through the GUIDE Model, CMS will test an alternative payment for participants who deliver key supportive services to people with dementia, including comprehensive, person-centered assessments and care plans, care coordination, and 24/7 access to a support line. Under the model, people with dementia and their caregivers will have access to a care navigator, who will help them access services and supports, including clinical services and non-clinical services such as meals and transportation through community-based organizations.

The GUIDE model supports President Biden’s Executive Order that directed HHS to develop a new health care payment and service delivery model focused on dementia care that would include family caregiver supports.

There is a web page that has been created specific to this care model that provides additional information, including a link to a webinar that will provide an overview of this care model scheduled for August 10, 2023:

CMS will release the application for GUIDE, a voluntary, nationwide model, in the fall of 2023. Prior to the application release, interested organizations are encouraged to submit Letters of Intent to CMS by September 15, 2023. The model will run for eight years beginning July 1, 2024.

If you are interested in receiving additional information, updates or have questions about the GUIDE model, please send an email to the GUIDE Model team’s inbox.

On July 13, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that announces and solicits public comments on proposed policy changes for Medicare payments under the Calendar Year (CY) 2024 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and other Medicare Part B issues, effective on or after January 1, 2024.

The calendar year (CY) 2024 PFS proposed rule is one of several proposed rules that reflect a broader Administration-wide strategy to create a more equitable health care system that results in better access to care, quality, affordability, and innovation.

The proposed modifications include several pertaining to telehealth policy in the Medicare program for 2024. One of the major takeaways from the proposed 2024 PFS is the clarification that certain telehealth flexibilities that were previously extended until 151 days after the end of the public health emergency (PHE) have now been extended until December 31, 2024, in accordance with amendments made by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023. These extensions have been known since the CAA’s passage in December last year and has also been addressed in a series of fact sheets and FAQ documents.

However, there were also some new changes addressed in the 2024 PFS. For example, every year CMS will consider adding new services to their list of codes that are reimbursable via telehealth. While they did not decide to add any new codes on a permanent basis to the list (though many remain on the list temporarily through the end of 2024), they did propose to add a number of codes to Category 3 (CMS’ current temporary list), including certain codes for health and well-being coaching services. Additionally, CMS announced a proposed revision to their telehealth code classification process, moving from a Category 1, 2 and 3 classification system to a binary ‘permanent’ or ‘provisional’ classification in an attempt to simplify the process beginning in CY 2025. In order to make the steps for getting a code accepted for inclusion in either the permanent or provisional telehealth lists transparent, CMS proposes a five-step process that is detailed in the proposed 2024 PFS, which includes consideration of the evidence of clinical benefits.

A few additional changes proposed in the document are listed below:

  • The list of telehealth practitioners is amended to recognize marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors as telehealth practitioners, effective Jan. 1, 2024.
  • CMS will pay for place of service (POS) 10 at the non-facility PFS rate, while 02 will be paid at the facility rate beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
  • Frequency limitation would be removed for subsequent inpatient visits through the duration of CY 2024.
  • Multiple clarifications are provided for billing both remote physiologic monitoring (RPM) and remote therapy monitoring (RTM) codes.
  • Direct supervision is allowed to include real-time audio video interactive telecommunication through Dec. 31, 2024 (including for FQHCs and RHCs). Direct supervision requirements are also addressed for occupational therapists in private practice (OTPP) and physical therapists in private practice (PTPP) for unenrolled physical and occupational therapists when providing remote RTM.

CMS will be accepting comments on their proposals until 5:00 pm EST on September 11, 2023, and RCPA will review the document and work with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing in drafting recommendations. We welcome provider feedback and comments to be included and ask that you contact and share these with your RCPA Policy Director.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently notified the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA) that the rollout of the Review Choice Demonstration (RCD) would begin on August 21, 2023, in Alabama. In previous information released about the RCD, Pennsylvania is most likely to be one of the next states in line for this rollout. Under this demonstration, CMS Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) will review all Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) claims in select states. CMS will utilize a dedicated website to provide updated information and resources to inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) stakeholders.

RCPA is working closely with AMRPA staff and will keep members apprised of developments and updates throughout the demonstration. The RCD website confirms that affected IRFs will have the option to elect pre-claim or post-payment review (and must use the same option for all claims).