2010 Medicare Fee Schedule Changes Include Elimination of Payment for Consultation Codes

November 9, 2009

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On October 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final ruling regarding the 2010 Physician Fee Schedule. One of the major announcements in the Final Rule is the elimination of payment for consultation codes as of January 1, 2010. Physicians should not bill consultation codes to Medicare for dates of service past December 31. Instead, physicians will report either a new patient visit code (99201-99205) or established patient visit code (99211-99215) for outpatient services; or an initial hospital care visit (99221-99223) or subsequent hospital care visit (99231-99233) for inpatient services.

Neurologists will see an increase in the Practice Expense relative value units (RVUs) due to CMS's announced implementation of the results of a Physician Practice Information survey the Academy conducted in conjunction with the American Medical Association (AMA) and more than 80 other specialty societies.

In addition, physicians now have available a new CPT® code to be used for nerve conduction studies using pre-configured electrode arrays (95905), as well as a new code addition to the vestibular testing family (92540).