CMS Proposes Care Coordination Payments for Recently Discharged Patients

For the first time, CMS is proposing to pay community physicians for the care required to help a patient transition back to the community following discharge from a hospital, reports The Remington Report.

Under the proposed rule, CMS would make a separate payment to a patient’s community physician to coordinate care during the first 30 days after a patient’s hospital stay. Research shows that patients who receive timely physician follow-up care after being discharged are significantly less likely to be readmitted.

The proposed rule would increase payments for family physicians by 7 percent and other practitioners providing primary care services by 3 to 5 percent under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2013. The proposed rule, which will appear in the July 30 Federal Register, also seeks public comment on how Medicare can better recognize the services community physicians provide in office visits and in coordinating care outside of the office.

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