The AHA today voiced support for several policy changes in the physician fee schedule proposed rule for calendar year 2020 that would promote access to care, public health, quality and regulatory relief. Specifically, AHA applauded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposals to reverse previously finalized policies for evaluation and management payments that threaten access to care for vulnerable populations; and implement statutorily required payments for opioid treatment programs, a new bundled payment model for certain substance use disorders, and “mostly gradual, flexible” increases to requirements under the Quality Payment Program. It also welcomed the agency’s willingness to review advisory opinion regulations for the physician self-referral law. AHA expressed concern with CMS’s proposed criteria for therapy assistant services; proposal to price Part B injectable and implantable drugs in the opioid treatment program bundle using the average sales price without the legally mandated 6% add-on; and the proposed Value Pathways framework and cost measure changes to the QPP’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System. CMS is accepting comments on the proposed rule through Friday.

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