Neurology practices should be preparing to use the new codes and lower values for nerve conduction studies. CMS officials have indicated the values will go into effect for 2013 without change.
In a December 20 meeting with top CMS officials, AAN and its partners (AANEM, AAPM&R, and APTA) discussed the potential negative impact on patient access with the looming pay cuts for nerve conduction and EMG tests. While CMS will not alter the values for 2013 or phase them in, they are willing to consider future changes to the values if they can measure any negative impact on patients. The AAN will work with CMS to propose metrics for monitoring effects on patients.
AAN President Bruce Sigsbee, MD, FAAN also emphasized the role of neurologists as cognitive physicians and set the stage for a future meeting with CMS about appropriately reimbursing E/M services.