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New CMS proposal could deal 'significant' cuts to radiologist reimbursements

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | August 17, 2021
Business Affairs

Radiologists faced a similar challenge last year with the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule in 2021, which called for a new coding structure for E/M services. As a result, reimbursement would be cut across the board by 10.61% from $36.0896 to a rate of $32.2605.

Payment cuts tied to budget neutrality were avoided, however, due to a temporary 3.75% increase passed by Congress in the physician fee schedule conversion factor. This increase is set to expire on January 1, 2022. ACR and 108 other organizations requested last month that the increase be retained through 2023. “Maintaining this level of funding will ensure physicians and other healthcare providers can continue to provide high-quality care focused on engaging patients, increasing the delivery of integrated, team-based care, expanding chronic disease management, and reducing hospital admission/readmission rates for beneficiaries residing in the community as well as those in long-term nursing facilities,” they said in a letter to Congress.

Regarding the current proposal, Still says a coalition of nearly 100 subspecialties will again work this year to advocate against such cuts, especially as Medicare beneficiaries continue to face high risks of contracting COVID and other diseases during the pandemic. “We will be asking Congress to reverse these cuts by suspending sequestration and funding the increase in a reasonable conversion factor.”

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