CMS issues final rule on preventive services
Article Thumbnail ImageNovember 3, 2010 -- The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule with comment period that would implement key provisions in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 to expand preventive services for Medicare beneficiaries, improve payments for primary care services, and promote access to healthcare services in rural areas.
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The final rule with comment period implements provisions to expand beneficiary access to preventive services and provide coverage under the traditional fee-for-service program for an annual wellness visit, beginning January 1, 2011.

CMS administrator Donald Berwick, MD, described the rule as a "major step" toward improving the health status of Medicare beneficiaries by providing coverage for an annual wellness visit that would allow a physician and patient to develop a closer partnership to improve the patient’s long-term health.

The rule also is designed to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for most preventive services beginning January 1, 2011, and reduce barriers to access for many beneficiaries.

The final rule is scheduled to appear in the November 29 edition of the Federal Register.

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