A recent article from Physician’s Money Digest reports that although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began paying physicians an average of $42 per-patient, per-month for non-face-to-face chronic care services, few doctors have taken advantage of the program. Despite roughly 35 million Medicare beneficiaries being eligible, CMS had received reimbursement requests for only 100,000 beneficiaries by late 2015.
Neil Smiley, founder of Loopback Analytics, suggests that many doctors simply lack the bandwidth:
Physicians are fairly jaded about the amount of time they’re going to have to put into the administrative aspect of this, and whether or not they can make money on a code that only pays $42, given the paperwork and administrative oversight.
In addition to time constraints, doctors have been reluctant to take advantage of this program because of its 20% copay requirement and potential pushback from patients having to pay for services without seeing their doctor. Smiley suggests doctors speak to their patients and try to position the service as a selling opportunity:
Many physicians will be surprised by patients who not only see the need for their doctors to be paid for these services, but would really like to benefit from what this is offering.