WASHINGTON--For the first time, Medicare will make separate payments
to physicians for supervising the care of patients receiving Medicare-covered
home health and hospice services.
Prior to January 1, when the new regulation went into effect,
payment for this oversight was considered to be bundled into Medicare
payments for physicians' visits and other services. Now, a physician
can be paid for supervising home health or hospice care when the
oversight requires more than 30 minutes a month.
Medicare expects nearly 5.3 million claims of about $60 each,
for a total of $310 million, in 1995. This cost will not increase
the Medicare budget, but will be paid for with offsetting , across-the-board
adjustments throughout the Medicare physician fee schedule.