Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule, which includes changes that will affect Medicare physician payments and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System starting Jan. 1, 2020.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 38 – No 12 – December 2019
CMS finalized an increase in these payments in line with the American Medical Association Relative Value Scale Update Committee recommendation for 2020. However, CMS also finalized a proposal to increase the office and outpatient evaluation and management (E/M) services rate in 2021. Medicare requires that overall changes to Medicare physician payments be budget-neutral, so this adjustment to the office and outpatient E/M codes is likely to reduce reimbursement to emergency medicine. So while emergency physician services will be more appropriately valued in 2020, payments for these same services may be significantly reduced the following year. Fortunately, CMS is leaving the door open to re-evaluate this policy in next year’s regulation, and ACEP will be working hard to ensure that these payment reductions do not become a reality in 2021.
ACEP has broken down the rule on the Regs & Eggs blog, emphasizing seven key policies that apply to emergency medicine and ACEP’s stance on each policy. View the blog. Want to subscribe to Regs & Eggs to stay abreast of the regulatory updates affecting emergency medicine? Sign up to receive email updates at www.acep.org/regsandeggs.