CMS in 1992 established a national definition for “global surgical packages” to ensure consistency in payments for the same procedure, regardless of payer or region. These packages included payment for both the procedure itself and the postoperative care for the 0-, 10- or 90-day global period. These global periods obviated the need for surgeons to submit bills for postoperative care because payment was included in the fees associated with the surgical service. Due to the fact that postoperative care is included in the total payment for the procedure, CMS wants to know howmany patient visits actually occur during the global period, given that physicians are being paid for those visits. For this reason, after 27 years and an analysis by the Office of the Inspector General, the global-billing payment methodology is about to change.
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