HHS touts free care ...

... as docs say preven­tive ser­vices hard to bill

Modern Healthcare - - The Week In Healthcare - Jessica Zig­mond

Anew HHS-led cam­paign to pro­mote the health­care re­form law’s Medi­care preven­tive-care ser­vices pro­vi­sions comes as some physi­cians con­tinue to main­tain that it’s dif­fi­cult to bill for such care.

In June, HHS an­nounced its “Share the News, Share the Health” cam­paign to alert the nation’s Medi­care pop­u­la­tion of the law’s preven­tive ser­vices that are avail­able to them at no cost. As part of that cam­paign, groups in­clud­ing the Coali­tion of Wis­con­sin Aging Groups and the Florida Al­liance for Re­tired Amer­i­cans held roundtable dis­cus­sions and press events na­tion­wide to in­form se­niors about the ben­e­fits.

But the of­ten-com­plex process to bill the CMS for these ser­vices has caused some headaches for physi­cian groups, de­spite ef­forts by the CMS to make billing eas­ier. The CMS cre­ated “Medi­care Learn­ing Preven­tive Ser­vices” on­line to give providers de­tailed in­for­ma­tion, and of­fi­cials have com­mu­ni­cated this mes­sage to var­i­ous health­care as­so­ci­a­tions, such as the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Physi­cians, the Health­care Billing Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion and the Med­i­cal Group Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to Dr. Wil­liam Rogers, a med­i­cal of­fi­cer at the CMS. “We’ve met with all of those as­so­ci­a­tions ex­ten­sively and help them craft their mes­sages to mem­bers,” Rogers said.

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