This is What Stability Looks Like: Proposed 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

“Today’s release of the proposed 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule marks the beginning of health security for millions of elderly and disabled Americans who depend on Medicare. It’s the first time in more than a decade that federal law did not threaten their access to care with mandated, double-digit Medicare cuts in payment for physician care, thanks to passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.

“Instead of facing a devastating Medicare cut in payment for the care they provide, physicians will see a modest increase. But most important, physicians can focus on caring for their patients, and their patients can rest assured their care will not be interrupted.

“The AAFP strongly recommended that CMS establish advance planning codes that would pay for the medical expertise and physician time in helping patients and families develop care plans. Advance care plans help patients receive the care they want.

“Knowing a person’s wishes regarding medical care in advance eases patients’ and families’ burden as they grapple with difficult decisions in the face of life-limiting illness or injury. Helping families understand the medical underpinnings for such decisions requires deliberate conversations based on the family physician’s expertise. This service is a vital part of medical care that merits compensation, and we look forward to working with CMS to ensure inclusion in the physician fee schedule."

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