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Fed Regist. 2001 Nov 1;66(212):55245-503.

Medicare program; revisions to payment policies and five-year review of and adjustments to the relative value units under the physician fee schedule for calendar year 2002. Final rule with comment period.


This final rule with comment period makes several changes affecting Medicare Part B payment. The changes affect: refinement of resource-based practice expense relative value units (RVUs); services and supplies incident to a physician's professional service;anesthesia base unit variations;recognition of CPT tracking codes; and nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and clinical nurse specialists performing screening sigmoidoscopies. It also addresses comments received on the June 8, 2001 proposed notice for the 5-year review of work RVUs and finalizes these work RVUs. In addition,we acknowledge comments received on our request for information on our policy for CPT modifier 62 that is used to report the work of co-surgeons. The rule also updates the list of certain services subject to the physician self-referral prohibitions to reflect changes to CPT codes and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes effective January 1, 2002. These refinements and changes will ensure that our payment systems are updated to reflect changes in medical practice and the relative value of services. The Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 modernizes the mammography screening benefit and authorizes payment under the physician fee schedule effective January 1, 2002; provides for biennial screening pelvic examinations for certain beneficiaries effective July 1, 2001; provides for annual glaucoma screenings for high-risk beneficiaries effective January 1,2002; expands coverage for screening colonoscopies to all beneficiaries effective July 1, 2001; establishes coverage for medical nutrition therapy services for certain beneficiaries effective January 1, 2002; expands payment for telehealth services effective October 1, 2001; requires certain Indian Health Service providers to be paid for some services under the physician fee schedule effective July 1, 2001; and revises the payment for certain physician pathology services effective January 1, 2001. This final rule will conform our regulations to reflect these statutory provisions. In addition, we are finalizing the calendar year (CY) 2001 interim RVUs and are issuing interim RVUs for new and revised procedure codes for calendar year (CY) 2002. As required by the statute, we are announcing that the physician fee schedule update for CY2002 is -4.8 percent, the initial estimate of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) for CY 2002 is 5.6 percent, and the conversion factor for CY 2002 is $36.1992.

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