News, MSDC Statements, and MSDC Testimony on Health Equity Issues
AMA Releases 2021 CPT Code Set
On September 1, the American Medical Association released its first major overhaul of CPT codes in 25 years. The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set serves as the coding and guidelines for office and outpatient evaluation and management (E/M) services.
According to the AMA press release, the changes were designed to make E/M office visit coding more flexible. Modifications include:
- Eliminating history and physical exams as elements for code selection
- Permit physicians to make code level selection based on medical-decision-making or total time
- Promoting payer consistency with more detail added to CPT code descriptors and guidelines
- Adapting to new medical testing services needed to address COVID-19
The code changes ranging from 99201-99215 are proposed for adoption by CMS on January 1, 2021.
“To get the full benefit of the burden relief from the E/M office visit changes, health care organizations need to understand and be ready to use the revised CPT codes and guidelines by Jan. 1, 2021,” said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, M.D. “The AMA is helping physicians and health care organizations prepare now for the transition and offers authoritative resources to anticipate the operational, infrastructural and administrative workflow adjustments that will result from the pending transition.”
Sample of Health Equity Legislation MSDC is Tracking
(See the whole list of bills here)
What does it say? The bill allows for the administration of medicinal marijuana in schools as well as allows students to bring sunscreen to schools and apply it without a prescription.
MSDC position: MSDC supports the language permitting sunscreen application in schools
Current status: A win for DC physicians and public health! The legislation passed the Council in February and was signed by the Mayor. Previous temporary and emergency legislation permitted students to use sunscreen at schools this school year already.
What does it say? The bill requires DC Health to establish an electronic Medical Order for Scope of Treatment registry (eMOST).
MSDC position: MSDC supports this legislation to more easily allow patients to make their treatment orders known.
Current status: A win for the physician community and our patients! The Council passed the bill in December and the Mayor signed it into law on January 16, 2020.
What does it say? The bill would implement a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on the distribution of "sugary" beverages. The money collected from the tax would establish a Healthy People, Healthy Places Open Spaces Grant Program.
MSDC position: MSDC sent a letter to Council Chair Mendelson asking for a hearing to discuss all of the issues around a beverage tax.
Current status: The bill was introduced October 8, 2019 and referred to the Committee on Business and Economic Development and the Committee of the Whole.