We are now one month into 2019, and much of the hustle over all that needs to be updated at the start of each year should be behind us. This may be a good time to return to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) Final Rule for the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) to see what elements other than conversion factors, code valuations and Quality Payment Program (QPP) updates are in the rule and may impact anesthesia and pain medicine practices in 2019 – and beyond.

Significant revisions to evaluation and management E/M coding, documentation and payment were under consideration for 2019. The most dramatic being consolidation of the five different payment amounts for office/outpatient E/M services into two amounts, implementing a 50 percent payment reduction when an E/M and a procedure are performed on the...

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