Early this month, AAPM&R submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) staff regarding a proposed supplementary payment for services provided to patients with mobility impairment.
The 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule implemented a G code for services offered to mobility impairment patients (G0501); however, a payment rate was not assigned to the code for 2017. As noted in the Academy’s comment letter, AAPM&R agrees that the current reimbursement structure does not account for the additional labor and practice expense costs associated with caring for persons with disabilities. However, we believe that the CMS proposed G code is too narrowly focused on beneficiaries with mobility impairment. We are also concerned that as it was previously proposed, the G code payment would impose additional costs on the part of the beneficiary, a burden we do not support. In the final rule, CMS outlined plans to consider in the coming months an appropriate payment rates for the G code.
The Academy strongly believes that physiatrists should be a part of this consideration process and we have therefore offered ourselves as a resource to CMS. We will continue to keep members updated regarding our advocacy efforts on this important issue.