Medicare releases slew of payment rules

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released nearly 3,000 pages of regulations late Friday finalizing 2015 payment rates for various providers and services in the Medicare program, including physicians.

The agency also revised the workings of several smaller quality initiatives related to end-stage renal disease, ambulatory surgical centers and hospital outpatient care, and adjusted aspects of the fee schedule for durable medical equipment within Medicare. 

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“These rules are a part of the broader strategy driving greater value in health care," said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a statement.

"By collaborating and building on best practices across the health care system, we can deliver the results of higher quality care and lower costs that consumers, providers, purchasers, and businesses deserve."

CMS highlighted the creation of a new payment to support chronic care management, efforts to combine and streamline payments related to a single patient's hospital care, and the expansion of the Physician Compare website.

"CMS has finalized policies to significantly expand the quality measures available on this website by making group practice and individual physician-level measures available for public reporting, including patient experience measures," the agency said in a memo to reporters.

The rules are available here, here and here and follow the release of payment regulations for home health agencies on Thursday.