Medicare accepting new codes for transition care

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As part of an effort to improve coordination among different care settings and reduce rehospitalizations, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is now accepting two new codes related to transitional care.

The codes – 99495 and 99496 – are for reporting the management of patients recently discharged from hospitals or skilled nursing facilities. In urging the CMS to accept the new codes, the American Medical Association said they will make it easier for care providers to participate in integrated care models such as accountable care organizations.

“Medicare's acceptance of the new codes signals that CMS recognizes the important role these services have in improving the overall quality of health care,” said AMA President-elect Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D. “The decision supports the work involved in transitioning patients from one care setting to the next and physicians working in emerging models of care.”

Better care coordination among hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospices and other providers can successfully reduce the rate of rehospitalizations in a community, according to a study published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

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