Sunday, August 17, 2014

Medicare to Start Paying Doctors Who Coordinate Needs of Chronically Ill Patients

By ROBERT PEAR, NYT
AUG. 16, 2014

WASHINGTON — In a policy change, the Obama administration is planning to pay doctors to coordinate the care of Medicare beneficiaries, amid growing evidence that patients with chronic illnesses suffer from disjointed, fragmented care.

Although doctors have often performed such work between office visits by patients, they have historically not been paid for it.

Starting in January, Medicare will pay monthly fees to doctors who manage care for patients with two or more chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and depression.

“Paying separately for chronic care management services is a significant policy change,” said Marilyn B. Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Officials said such care coordination could pay for itself by keeping patients healthier and out of hospitals.

(More here.)

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