New G-Codes to Pay Doctors for Broad Array of Non-Face-to-Face Care

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , December 5, 2013

Though few physicians realize it yet, a new CMS rule will begin to pay them for the hours they and their clinical teams spend managing Medicare patients' chronic conditions beyond face-to-face office visits.

You've heard physicians complain about the hours of unpaid time they and their clinical teams spend managing their Medicare patients' chronic conditions beyond the face-to-face office encounters: The late-night and weekend phone calls, all the extra work.

The key word here is unpaid.

There are questions from patients and caregivers about diagnoses and dosages. Questions from referral specialists and pharmacists. Reviews of lab and imaging tests. Assessments of patients' functional status. Appointment coordination. Development of care plans. Doctors provide all that for free because none of it is compensated under Medicare's current rules, which consider these services part of the patient's prior or upcoming face-to-face visit.

All of this will soon change, although few physicians realize it yet.

The new G-code

Enter "G-code" for Chronic Care Management Services. The G stands for Government, as in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which devised this code as a way to incentivize doctors to do a much better job coordinating their patients' care. In a news release, in fact, the agency called the G-code "a milestone."

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3 comments on "New G-Codes to Pay Doctors for Broad Array of Non-Face-to-Face Care"

Bonnie (1/15/2014 at 11:41 AM)
They should do the same thing for Medicaid, but that's not federal. A lot of times when everyone else makes sense, state laws do not. People will have to start bugging their state officials to come up with something for Medicaid patients, especially considering the pediatric population is highly likely to have families requiring physician services at odd hours.

RB (12/10/2013 at 9:20 PM)
When can doctors who take care of Medicaid patients, and not so much Medicare (think Pediatricians) get the same opportunity?

Kathy Johnson (12/5/2013 at 1:55 PM)
Can Rural Health Clinics that are paid by face to face encounters, now bill the non-face to face visits with the Gcode???




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