CMS Releases Final 2019 Physician Fee Schedule

On Nov. 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) rule, addressing Medicare payment rates and policy provisions for physicians in 2019. Per the final ruling, physicians will see a 0.1 percent conversion factor payment increase on Jan. 1, 2019. CMS estimates that cardiology payments will neither increase nor decrease from 2018 to 2019, though estimates are based on cardiovascular practice in its entirety and can vary widely depending on the mix of services provided in a practice. In a significant positive shift reflecting ACC Advocacy efforts, proposed changes to evaluation and management (E/M) payment were both altered and/or delayed until 2021 in the final ruling. The rule also includes updates to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) for the 2019 performance period. Clinicians and groups participating in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) are subject to payment adjustments of up to +/- 7 percent in 2021. Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) participants remain eligible for a +5 percent lump sum bonus. Review additional highlights on