CMS proposes to pay for telehealth, reduce physicians’ paperwork time

CMS proposed several changes to its Medicare billing standards July 12, including paying doctors for virtual visits and alleviating some of their administrative burden.

“Today’s proposals deliver on the pledge to put patients over paperwork by enabling doctors to spend more time with their patients,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma, MPH, said in a statement. “Physicians tell us they continue to struggle with excessive regulatory requirements and unnecessary paperwork that steal time from patient care.”

CMS estimates the proposals, if enacted, would save clinicians 51 hours per year on paperwork if 40 percent of their patients are on Medicare and would collectively save nearly 30,000 hours and $2.6 million in administrative costs in 2019.

A public comment period on the proposed rules is open through Sept. 10.

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