The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its proposed revisions to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for 2017, thus beginning the annual cycle of review, comment, planning and preparation that goes along with this release. Missing from this year’s proposed rule are provisions related to the Medicare quality reporting programs (PQRS, VM, MU-EHR*) that have been a large part of the rule in recent years.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated payment rates for travel allowances and specimen collection fees when billed on a per mileage basis using Health Care Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code P9603 and when billed on a flat rate basis using HCPCS code P9604 for 2016.
Payment of the travel allowance is made only if a specimen collection fee is also payable. The travel allowance is intended to cover the estimated travel costs of collecting a specimen including the laboratory technician’s salary and travel expenses. The per mile travel allowance is to be used in situations where the average trip to the patients’ homes is longer than 20 miles round trip.
The per flat-rate trip basis travel allowance is $ 9.90
On October 30, 2015, the calendar year (CY) 2016 Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) final rule was published in the Federal Register. In order to implement corrections to technical errors discovered after publication of the MPFS rule and process claims correctly, Medicare administrative contractors will hold claims containing 2016 services paid under the MPFS for up to 14 calendar days (i.e., Friday January 1, 2016, through Thursday January 14, 2016). The hold should have minimal impact on provider cash flow as, under current law, clean electronic claims are not paid sooner than 14 calendar days (29 days for paper claims) after the date of receipt.
MPFS claims for services rendered on or before Thursday December 31, 2015, are unaffected by the 2016 claims hold and will be processed and paid under normal procedures and time frames.