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October 22, 2020

Physician Response to Proposed 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

Many organizations have now weighed in on CMS’s  2021 Proposed Budget with much of the discussion focusing on the temporary changes to telehealth reimbursement implemented in 2020. On October 5, the AMA formally responded, and urged CMS to “continue and make permanent several telehealth services, and to seek authority to remove barriers to access based on geography and site of service.” The response went on to urge that payment rates for telehealth services should continue to be the same as for in-person services.

The AMA also raised a concern that other changes to the 2021 Proposed Budget could create a potential 11% decrease in physician payment through changes to RVUs, E/M visits, and the application of budget neutrality. There is concern these changes causing a decrease in physician payment are being implemented on the coattails of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID) public health emergency where physician practices are already seeing reductions in revenue.