Advocacy win

#SaveOMT victory: CMS excludes OMT codes from list for potential revaluation

The 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule preserves OMT as a frontline, nonpharmaceutical treatment for pain.

Following more than 3,400 comment letters from DOs, students and advocates who participated in the AOA’s Save OMT campaign, the final 2017 physician fee schedule released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Wednesday preserves OMT as a frontline, nonpharmaceutical treatment for pain.

The victory is due, in part, to strong advocacy by the osteopathic family after the July release of a proposed physician fee schedule that outlined a plan to review the five OMT codes for potential revaluation.

The AOA maintained that the OMT codes, which were targeted because they are frequently billed with evaluation and management (E/M) office visits, should be excluded from the list because they do not meet the CMS criteria for review.

The final fee schedule released Wednesday no longer includes the five OMT codes targeted in the proposed rule, with CMS noting the several thousand comments sent by DOs and supporters opposing the draft policy and sharing the important role OMT plays in diagnosing and treating patients. The agency also acknowledged it accounted for OMT being billed with a separate E/M code when it originally set the value for OMT.

“This victory clears a path for the AOA to work with CMS on ways to better ensure appropriate payment for OMT moving forward,” says Boyd R. Buser, DO, AOA President.

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