After a COVID-19 stabilization bill eased budget neutrality cuts finalized in a December regulation, CMS has revised 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rates.

A 3.75 percent raise in Medical Fee Schedule payments for all facilities in 2021 was implemented by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, passed by Congress last month, to assist doctors and other professions in transitioning to improvements in reimbursement for physician services during 2021.

Payments for the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code G2211 were also put on hold for a trio of years by the $1.4 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill, which also influenced the Physician Fee Schedule budget neutrality clause. Per the American Medical Association, G2211, an add-on code for the difficulty involved in assessment and management visits, accounted for around $3 billion, or three percent, of spending on the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

The pause in adopting the code would decrease the change of budget neutrality, and as a result, as pointed out in the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final regulation, some specialists will no longer face drastic rate cuts.

In the final regulation, CMS agreed to raise premiums for evaluation and management programs that help primary care and treatment of chronic diseases, which caused the 2021 budget-neutrality adjustment aspect.

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