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AMA says Medicare payment schedule rule threatens patient access

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The American Medical Association has criticized the new Medicare payment schedule proposed rule released last week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, saying it fails to account for inflation in practice costs and “COVID-19-related challenges to practice sustainability.”

The proposed 2023 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) conversion factor is $33.08, a decrease of $1.53 from the 2022 PFS conversion factor of $34.61. This conversion factor accounts for the required update to the conversion factor for 2023 of 0%; the expiration of the 3% increase in PFS payments for 2022 as required by the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers From Sequester Cuts Act; and the required budget neutrality adjustment to account for changes in Relative Value Units.

In short, it amounts to a slight pay cut for providers. The AMA called the cut a “significant and damaging across-the-board reduction in payment rates.”

“Such a move would create long-term financial instability in the Medicare physician payment system and threaten patient access to Medicare-participating physicians,” the organization wrote in response to the proposed rule. “We will be working with Congress to prevent this harmful outcome.”

CMS’ proposed rule seeks to expand access to behavioral health services, Accountable Care Organizations, cancer screening and dental care, with […]

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