AMA to CMS: Changes Needed to Avoid Large Cuts in Physician Payments in 2021 Medicare Fee Schedule

October 5, 2020

Without changes to next year's Medicare fee schedule, physician payment would be reduced by almost 11%. says the AMA.

The American Medical Association (AMA) announced its objections to the proposed 2021 Medicare fee schedule today, saying that budget neutrality rules would lead to a 5.5% cut in physician payment and that additional proposals would have the effect of ramping up the reduction to almost 11%. The AMA called on CMS to waive budget neutrality and avert the payment cuts.

The press release — which distilled 93 pages of technical comments that the association filed with CMS — also urged CMS to “treat all physicians fairly” by incorporating office visit increases into surgical global payment; to make permanent several telehealth services; and to implement and pay for the new CPT code 99072 that covers safety protocols related to COVID-19.

The AMA urged the agency to continue with policies that introduced “much-needed flexibility” to the Medicare Quality Payment Program and expressed strong support for a CMS new office visit policy that the AMA says will “significantly reduce administrative burdens and better describe and recognize the resources involved in office visits.”