The American Medical Association (AMA) reported on Jan. 22 that Medicare is now accepting newly created Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for care coordination. The new codes enable physicians to be paid for the management of patients who have recently been discharged from a hospital or skilled nursing facility.
The association reported that its CPT Editorial Panel created codes 99495 and 99496 "with broad input from the healthcare community to capture transitional care management services." The codes allow for efficient reporting of time spent discussing a care plan, connecting patients to community services, transitioning them from inpatient settings and preventing readmissions, the AMA said in a news release.
Last year the AMA called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to adopt the new codes and cover the related services to support physicians participating in emerging models of care, such as patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations and other evolving integrated delivery systems.
“Medicare’s acceptance of the new codes signals that CMS recognizes the important role these services have in improving the overall quality of healthcare,” said AMA president-elect Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, in a prepared statement. “The decision supports the work involved in transitioning patients from one care setting to the next and physicians working in emerging models of care.”
The association said its Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC) also played an essential role in providing CMS with insight and recommendations on the value of the work and resources associated with services reported by the new transitional care codes. Click here to view a video of RUC members commenting on the importance of these new codes.