Continuing the Fight to Avert Impending Medicare Cuts

Melissa M. Chen, MD, member of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Commission on Economics, contributed this article.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, increased Medicare payments to providers who often bill using evaluation and management (E/M) current procedural terminology codes will result in drastic payment cuts to radiologists and other specialty providers. The radiology community continues to march on in our efforts to preclude these looming cuts.

The ACR is committed to keeping members informed of critical details and the latest updates. The Radiology Cuts Due to Medicare Evaluation and Management Changes: What You Need to Know section on acr.org is continually updated with E/M resources, including breaking news, impact tables, detailed summaries and more.

In addition, I’m looking forward to participating in the panel for the Medicare Cuts: What You Need to Know virtual Town Hall on Oct. 29 at 8pm ET alongside five other expert colleagues, including Howard Fleishon, MD, MMM, FACR; Lauren P. Golding, MD; Geraldine McGinty, MD, FACR; Gregory N. Nicola, MD, FACR and William T. Thorwarth, Jr., MD, FACR. We hope that you will join us.

The ACR is also leading a coalition of over 50 healthcare provider organizations to urge Congress to waive the budget neutrality requirements within the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule to provide relief from reimbursement cuts associated with changes to E/M codes. Recently, the coalition sent a letter to Representatives Mike Burgess, MD (R-TX), and Bobby Rush (D-IL), to recognize their leadership in introducing H.R. 8505, legislation that would support our efforts to waive budget neutrality requirements stipulated in Section 1848(c)(2) of the Social Security Act for the impending E/M code changes. And, on Oct. 9, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), wrote to both Senate leadership and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee urging Congressional action to waive budget neutrality requirements or hold healthcare providers harmless from these cuts. In her letter, Sen. Collins also emphasized the negative impact these reductions would have on both physician and non-physician providers and their patients, especially as the nation continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Register to attend the Medicare Cuts: What You Need to Know virtual Town Hall on Oct. 29 at 8pm ET to continue this important discussion regarding the impact of these ill-advised Medicare cuts, steps the ACR has taken to counter them and actions radiologists and allied professionals can take that may help avert them.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion on Engage (login required).

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