Monday, April 14, 2014

“free” preventive care that isn’t free

News reports are highlighting the nuances of implementing the ACA’s provision eliminating consumer cost sharing for preventive care. An article in the Washington Post includes an example of a practices adding a facility fee of $1,935 for a CT woman’s colonoscopy that should have been free. According to a WSJ article"Patients are scheduling 'physicals' because physicals are free," says Randy Wexler, a family-medicine physician in Columbus, Ohio. "But they come in and say, 'I've been having headaches. My back has been bothering me and I'm depressed.' That's not part of a physical. That will trigger a copay."’ Some practices are scheduling separate visits to separate preventive care from treatment. Consumer advocates are seeking guidance from CMS.