CLEVELAND, Nov. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Chronic Care Management, LLC announced that The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final rule for its 2017 physician fee schedule payment policies yesterday. This major final rule contains multiple changes to Medicare Part B payment policies, which illustrate that CMS increasingly recognizes the critically important role that "in-between visit" chronic care management (CCM) services play in the care of people with multiple chronic conditions. A significant portion of the 2017 final rule discusses how Medicare is effectively "doubling down" on its investment in care management services, which can keep people healthier and out of hospitals and emergency rooms - while rewarding medical providers who perform this valuable work with new revenue. As CMS works under mandate by MACRA to increase beneficiary access to CCM services, it announced payment for new CCM codes that are expected to better support complex patients and the providers who care for them, as well as new payment mechanisms for providers who discuss CCM services with eligible patients during regular visits. In its 2017 final rule, CMS commented that to date, only 513,000 Medicare beneficiaries have had a CCM claim since the program started in January of 2015. With tens of millions of Medicare beneficiaries expected to be eligible for CCM services, CMS acknowledged that the uptake of the program by practices has likely been slowed by the significant administrative burden practices face under current CCM service elements and billing requirements. As such, in 2017, Medicare has made several changes expected to reduce the administrative burden of CCM, most notably removing the requirement for a written consent for patient enrollment, and removing the initiating visit requirement for patients who have been seen within the past year by the CCM practice. Dr. William Mills, Founder and President of Chronic Care Management, LLC, said, "CMS has made important changes to the fabric of its policy concerning how chronic care management programs can engage patients and practices. Over the past nearly two years, the positive intent of CMS and value of CCM programs has been largely overshadowed by the arduous service and billing requirements and misinformation that has surrounded the field. I believe that CMS is on the right track and in 2017, CCM programs should become significantly more accessible to patients in need in light of the final rule released this week." Dr. Mills continued, "We look forward to working with practices and organizations of all sizes to help them understand and succeed within the 2017 policy changes, while empowering patients and practices with the tools necessary to deliver quality and compliant care management." Chronic Care Management's cloud-based platform places each patient at the center of an interdisciplinary, connected care network called My Care Connector™ that synchronizes patients and their health care providers around a comprehensive, portable care plan. Built to enable value-based care transformation, risk stratification and a patient-centered care management model, Chronic Care Management provides practices and organizations of all types the "right fit" CCM solution.