On December 1st, CMS released the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). As expected, the final rule increased payment for Evaluation and Management (E&M) codes for physicians, and by doing so cut reimbursement by 9% for therapy services, and as much or more for over 35 provider specialties in order to comply with the budget neutrality mandate.
Without Congressional intervention these cuts will go into effect in January 2021—a time when providers and patients across the nation are still struggling with the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19.
On the House side there is a bill that Representatives are getting behind. The Holding Providers Harmless From Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act (H.R. 8702) will provide “hold harmless” payments for 2 years (2021 and 2022) to bridge the difference between the payment rate in 2020 and the reduced rate finalized by CMS for 2021. In the Senate, while there is no legislation yet, the Senate Finance Committee which has jurisdiction over Medicare policy is working on the issue.
Take action here to ask your legislators to take action to stop these cuts. There are two separate emails - one to the House and one to the Senate. The deadline is Friday, December 4 for the Senate action. This is not the last time we’ll be asking you to take action, so watch your email