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AMA Applauds HHS for Revisions to Medicare E/M Policies

Statement attributed to:

Barbara L. McAneny, M.D.
President, American Medical Association


"With physicians facing excessive documentation requirements in their practices, it is relief to see that the Administration not only understands the problem of regulatory burden but is taking concrete steps to address it. Patients are likely to see the effect as their physicians will have more time to spend with them and be able to more quickly locate relevant information in medical records."


Specifically, the AMA is grateful that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

  • Changed the required documentation of the patient's history to focus only on the interval history since the previous visit.
  • Eliminated the requirement for physicians to re-document information that has already been documented in the patient's record by practice staff or by the patient; and
  • Removed the need to justify providing a home visit instead of an office visit.
  • Declined to move forward on a proposal to reduce payment for office visits when performed on the same day as another service.

"Implementation of these policies will streamline documentation requirements, reducing paperwork burdens that interfere with a meaningful patient-physician relationship."


"The AMA also is grateful that the Administration is not moving forward in 2019 with the payment collapse of E/M codes. A two-year window for implementation of the proposal will give the AMA-convened work group - comprised of physicians and other health professionals - time to make recommendations on this complicated topic. The panel members have deep expertise in defining and valuing codes, and as members of various specialties, they all use the office visit codes to describe and bill for services provided to Medicare patients. The group is analyzing these issues and plans to offer solutions to be provided to CMS for future implementation. We look forward to further dialogue with the Administration on the work group's proposal."

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