CMS proposal lowers physician pay in 2022: 4 details

CMS issued the 2022 Physician Fee Schedule proposal July 13, which will lower physician pay next year if it goes into effect without changes.

Four details:

1. CMS proposed decreasing the 2022 physician pay conversion factor 3.75 percent next year, from $34.89 to $33.58. The adjustment would account for changes in the relative value units and expenditures related to other proposed policy updates.

2. CMS noted that Congress has proposed budget neutrality updates that will account for the RVU changes and the 3.75 percent payment increase from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 is set to expire at the end of the year.

3. Specialty physician organizations are calling on Congress to intervene and stop cuts to physician pay, according to a statement from the Surgical Care Coalition.

"At a time when medical practices have been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a significant backlog of patients in need of surgical care, further cuts are not only unsustainable, they ultimately threaten patient access to care," said Richard Hoffman, MD, president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, in the statement. "This is especially true for patients receiving sight-restoring cataract surgery, one of the most successful and frequently performed procedures for Medicare beneficiaries."

4. The proposed rule is open for comment through Sept. 13 and would take effect Jan. 1, 2022, if the proposed changes are finalized.


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