Representatives from the American Academy of Ophthalmology announced at the 2019 AAO meeting that they are prioritizing applying Evaluation and Management (E/M) code values to postoperative visits. The E/M codes go into effect January 2021.
Adding E/M codes to postoperative visits would help restore the 15% cut for cataract surgery reimbursement going into effect January 2020.
Most subspecialties support the change—especially because it is estimated to result in $468 million of value to Medicare fee-for-service physicians; $114 million of that would accrue to ophthalmologists if the E/M codes are applied to postoperative visits.
“That’s not an insignificant number to us and it’s not a huge number in the overall scheme of a $70 billion Medicare budget. It would not be a budget busting change,” said David B. Glasser, MD, secretary for federal affairs of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
AAO already has support in Congress to make this change happen and is gaining support in the Senate.
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