The Role of RDNs in the 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

The Academy has submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regarding the proposed rule, "Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY2014." The Academy's comments supported the role of registered dietitian nutritionists beyond the MNT benefit in improving clinical outcomes and saving dollars for the Medicare program and the patients it serves.

Each year the CMS publishes proposed rules for the annual Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. These rules not only establish payment rates to physicians and others providing services under Medicare Part B, but also address other Medicare Part B payment policies. In addition, some of the proposed rules implement provisions of the Affordable Care Act as they impact the Medicare program. Since RDNs are Medicare Part B providers, the Academy always reviews the proposed rules and submits comments on any provisions that impact our members.

The Academy's 2014 comments highlighted the important role RDNs play beyond the current MNT benefit. The comments also addressed the Physician Quality Reporting System that provides additional payments to RDNs who are currently Medicare providers and are satisfactorily reporting quality measures. However, starting in 2015, the bonus payments will convert to payment reductions.

The Academy's comments were based on input from the Coding and Coverage Committee, Legislative and Public Policy Committee and several Dietetic Practice Groups. Additionally, the Academy supported comments from its coalition partners, the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance.