Nav: Home

AGS commends proposed Medicare payment policies to improve care for chronically ill

July 12, 2016

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) commends the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for continuing to support improved payment for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions as part of the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule. As a result of ongoing advocacy from the AGS and other specialties, CMS has proposed making payment for a number of services provided to chronically ill older adults--changes which dramatically improve current payment for chronic care management and management of people transitioning from hospital care to the home.

These proposals, which will take effect in 2017 if finalized, recognize much of the cognitive work that geriatrics healthcare professionals, primary care providers, and other cognitive specialists currently and regularly provide--until now without reimbursement--to those with chronic and acute illnesses. We thank CMS for recognizing the value and importance of this care and believe that it will dramatically improve the ability of many providers to keep older adults out of the hospital and emergency room.

Specifically, we applaud CMS for proposing to make additional payments covering complex chronic care management, which comprises non-face-to-face care provided to the most severely ill Medicare beneficiaries. These are beneficiaries who suffer from two or more chronic illnesses and must have a care plan that is continually monitored and revised based on their condition. The proposed payments will allow geriatricians and other healthcare professionals to develop the infrastructure and hire the clinical staff needed to provide high-quality, person-centered care while also helping seriously ill older adults avoid unnecessary or unwanted hospital visits. Importantly, CMS also proposes to reduce the administrative burden of performing these procedures, which will greatly increase their availability to those covered by Medicare.

We also applaud CMS for proposing to make payment to physicians who assess and plan care for those with cognitive impairments. It is imperative that individuals living with these conditions be diagnosed as early as possible to ensure they receive high-quality care and are able to involve family members and caregivers in the care planning process.

Other important CMS proposals for 2017 include recognition for the importance of collaborative care between primary care providers and psychiatrists for those with psychiatric conditions like depression and anxiety, as well as care for people with disorders that limit mobility. In both cases, CMS proposes extra payments that will allow providers to manage conditions more effectively.

"We are delighted that CMS included these services in the 2017 Proposed Physician Fee Schedule. Their inclusion is a key component of better care," said Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA, Chief Executive Officer of the AGS. "In proposing these codes, CMS is recognizing the importance of supporting healthcare professionals who provide high-quality, person-centered care to older adults with complex illness."

In applauding the CMS for these proposals, the AGS has been joined by a diverse cadre of stakeholders, including the American Academy of Home Care Medicine (AAHCM), American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), American Academy of Neurology (AAN), and AMDA--The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
About the American Geriatrics Society

Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals dedicated to improving the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. Its more than 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and internists. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. For more information, visit

About the American Academy of Home Care Medicine

The American Academy of Home Care Medicine (AAHCM) represents thousands of physicians and related professionals and agencies who strive to improve care of patients in the home. The Academy represents thousands of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and related professionals and organizations who care for the sickest, costliest Medicare beneficiaries. These patients are home limited due to multiple chronic illnesses, frailty and disability. Together these medical professionals and organizations strive to improve the medical care of patients in the home.

About the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) is the professional organization for physicians practicing Hospice and Palliative Medicine. AAHPM's nearly 5,000 members also include nurses and other health and spiritual care providers who are committed to improving the quality of life of seriously ill patients and their families. For close to 30 years AAHPM has been dedicated to expanding access of patients and families to high-quality palliative care and advancing the discipline of Hospice and Palliative Medicine through professional education and training, development of a specialist workforce, support for clinical practice standards, research, and public policy. Visit to learn more.

About the American Academy of Neurology

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), an association of 30,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

About AMDA--The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine

AMDA--The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PA/LTC) settings. The Society's 5,500 members work in skilled nursing facilities, long-term care and assisted living communities, CCRCs, home care, hospice, PACE programs, and other settings.

American Geriatrics Society

Related Medicare Articles:

Falling Medicare reimbursement rates for orthopaedic trauma
The amount Medicare reimburses for orthopaedic trauma surgery has fallen by nearly one-third over the past two decades, reports a study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma.
Medicare coverage varies for transgender hormone therapies
A new study has shown substantial variability in access to guideline-recommended hormone therapies for older transgender individuals insured through Medicare.
Medicare changes may increase access to TAVR
The number of hospitals providing TAVR could double with changes to Medicare requirements.
Inequitable medicare reimbursements threaten care of most vulnerable
Hospitals, doctors and Medicare Advantage insurance plans that care for some of the most vulnerable patients are not reimbursed fairly by Medicare, according to recent findings in JAMA.
Medicare may overpay for many surgical procedures
For most surgical procedures, Medicare provides physicians a single bundled payment that covers both the procedure and related postoperative care over a period of up to 90 days.
Only 1 in 4 Medicare patients participate in cardiac rehabilitation
Only about 24% of Medicare patients who could receive outpatient cardiac rehabilitation participate in the program.
How common is food insecurity among Medicare enrollees? 
Nearly 1 in 10 Medicare enrollees age 65 and over and 4 in 10 enrollees younger than 65 with long-term disabilities experience food insecurity.
Medicare for All unlikely to cause surge in hospital use: Harvard study
Despite some analysts' claims that Medicare for All would cause a sharp increase in health care utilization, a new study finds the two biggest coverage expansions in US history -- Medicare and the ACA -- caused no net increase in hospital use.
Critical heart drug too pricey for some Medicare patients
An effective drug to treat chronic heart failure may cost too much for senior citizens with a standard Medicare Part D drug plan, said a study co-authored by a John A.
Research suggests strategy for more equitable Medicare reimbursement
Those who were enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid were sicker, had more cognitive impairments and difficulty functioning, and needed more social support than those who were not enrolled in both government programs, Saint Louis University research found.
More Medicare News and Medicare Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.