CMS’ 2019 OPPS proposed rule, released in late July, continues the agency’s efforts to enforce site-neutral payments and reduce drug payments by introducing policies to reduce reimbursement for hospital outpatient clinic visits at off-campus, provider-based departments.
Continuing with numerous specific requests for comment in last year’s OPPS proposed rule, CMS is once again asking stakeholders for feedback on a variety of issues for the 2019 OPPS proposed rule for future potential rulemaking. You may submit comments to the agency until September 24, 2018.
Back in January, I wrote an article regarding E/M codes and the need for changes to the 1995 and 1997 E/M documentation guidelines. In that article, I suggested making E/M codes for office visits solely time-based to simplify the reporting of these very subjective codes. Little did I know that this is what CMS would propose months later.
Along with quality measure removals in the 2018 OPPS and MPFS final rules, CMS has continued to propose additional removals in the 2019 proposed rules. In addition, the agency is proposing to add to its ability to remove quality measures in the future.
The fiscal year (FY) 2019 ICD-10-CM code update, released on June 11, includes 279 code additions, 143 revisions, and 51 invalidations. The number of changes is significantly less than the past two years, which makes me think we are getting back to the “norm” of expected yearly changes.
Many HIM directors find that managing the coding team requires a different type of focus than other functions within the department. This may be true because coding professionals have advanced education, prefer a quiet work environment, and require less direction.