As was reported in last week’s Bulletin, the Division of Medical Assistance has announced that it has removed the December 31, 2011 deadline for physician assistant (PA) enrollment. However, some recently published articles still urge PAs to begin the enrollment process. The NCMS, NC Academy of Physician Assistants and the NC Medical Group Managers continue to urge all PAs and their medical practices to hold their Medicaid enrollment applications until DMA (1) completes rulemaking that establishes its authority to require direct enrollment, and (2) fully explains all eventual ramifications that direct enrollment will have on these practitioners and their practices.
Read “Physician Assistants, Hold Your Medicaid Enrollment Applications!” (Bulletin, 10-7-11)
RUC Recommends Immediate Medicare Payment for Care Coordination Services
The AMA Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) recently sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick, MD, recommending recognition of critical services that are currently not recognized or compensated by Medicare. RUC Committee Chair Barbara Levy, MD, says these services include telephone calls, patient education and the management of anticoagulant medication to prevent strokes for patients with chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
“We (RUC) have partnered with the CPT Editorial Panel to create a Chronic Care Coordination Workgroup that will make further recommendations to CMS on long-term improvements they can make to appropriately recognize physicans’ work on patient care coordination and the prevention and maintenance of chronic diseases,” Dr. Levy said.
More information about the Chronic Care Coordination Workgroup is available at: www.ama-assn.org/go/carecoordination.
Medicare Open Enrollment Begins Saturday, October 15, 2011
Medicare patients and their families are asked to begin reviewing drug and health plan coverage options for 2012. The Medicare Open Enrollment Period—which began earlier this year on October 15—has been expanded to last seven weeks and will end on December 7, 2011.
Additional information and resources are available at: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/10/20111012b.html.