A recent proposal from CMS would limit patients’ access to care

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposal that would, if approved, consolidate the billing codes for doctor visits. While this would reduce provider burden, it would also negatively affect a wide range of patients and healthcare providers, including doctors and patients in our migraine community.

This proposed policy would cut payments for complex office visits, adversely affecting the care and treatment of patients with complex conditions. It could also exacerbate physician workforce shortages, as it discourages young physicians from pursuing specialties that provide complex care. Migraine is a complex, misunderstood disease and there are too few headache specialists for the 37 million Americans who live with migraine, making this policy detrimental to patients and doctors alike.

In response, the American Migraine Foundation, American Headache Society and 130 other organizations signed on to a letter to CMS, outlining the impact of this proposal on patient communities. It is our understanding that the proposal was created with little to no consultation with affected stakeholders. We urged CMS not to move forward with the proposal as it currently stands, and instead convene stakeholders to identify other strategies to reduce paperwork and administrative burden that do not threaten patient access to care.

We look forward to working with CMS to continue this dialogue and find a solution that benefits providers, insurance companies and patients.