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Newsletter Article


Medicare Posts 2017 Rule on Doctors' Pay, Diabetes Program

By Kerry Young, CQ Roll Call 

November 2, 2016 -- Medicare on Wednesday released the final version of its 2017 update on payments for physicians, along with new policies to expand the giant federal health program's efforts to prevent diabetes.

The rule also expands the use of telehealth services for people enrolled in Medicare, which serves senior citizens and people with disabilities. CMS is adding new codes to cover telehealth for discussions related to how people want to be treated near the end of their lives, known as advance care planning. Medicare payment for end-of-life discussions is relatively new. Last year's rule created payments for the time doctors spend counseling patients on their treatment options in case of terminal illness or severe declines in health.

CMS also added a telehealth code related to consultations for people undergoing dialysis.

The regulation increased reimbursements for doctors who care for patients with multiple chronic conditions and mental and behavioral health issues.

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