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Association News
APA Needs Your Help
Psychiatric News
Volume 45 Number 7 page 6-6

APA needs its members who are knowledgeable about CPT codes and coding to help with a new review of billing codes used for all medical practices and procedures—a process that could result in changing the fees that clinicians will be reimbursed under Medicare and, by extension, by some private insurance companies.

The government's review of reimbursement codes, announced in the Federal Register on November 25, 2009, is a rigorous process that calls for medical specialty societies to survey a representative sample of members for their evaluation of the "relative work values" associated with procedures performed by members of that specialty.

The survey process is designed to allow clinicians within a specialty to evaluate the time and complexity and intensity of work required to perform a procedure, relative to other procedures used for comparison.

Psychiatric News will be publicizing this effort further—an initial overview of the process was published in the March 19 issue—and APA's Office of Healthcare Systems and Financing is prepared to help educate members about the review process. Moreover, the AMA's Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC), which coordinates the survey process, has a detailed and easily accessible educational PowerPoint program posted at APA's Web site.

The new relative work values go into effect on January 1, 2011.

APA members interested in learning more about the process and participating in the survey should call the Office of Healthcare Systems and Financing at (888) 357-7924, ext. 8593, or e-mail Becky Yowell at byowell@psych.org.

APA's letter to the CMS is posted at <www.psych.org>. The Federal Register notice announcing the review of codes is posted at <http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-26502.pdf>. The AMA PowerPoint program is posted at <www.psych.org/Departments/HSF/ManagingYourPractice/Understanding-the-RUC-Survey-Instrument.aspx>.blacksquare

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