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.