Radiologists and other physicians are asking Congress to inject another $3 billion into the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule to offset looming doc pay cuts slated for 2022.
In a letter to lawmakers, 63 medical groups including the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging and American College of Radiology said the pandemic continues to hamper physician practices. While Congress provided a lifeline in a 2020 year-end spending bill, they’re asking for this “critical investment in the nation’s healthcare infrastructure” to help make physicians whole.
“By maintaining this level of funding—which equates to a 3.75% increase for all payments across the fee schedule—healthcare providers can continue to focus on addressing patient backlogs and continue to identify effective treatments for patients impacted by ‘long-haul’ COVID-19 symptoms,” SNMMI, ACR and numerous others wrote to House and Senate leadership on April 27. “Our medical practices, therapy clinics, and practitioners must remain viable, so our nation can fully recover from this pandemic,” they added.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act passed by Congress back in December partially mitigated the cuts stemming from Medicare coding changes. Congress provided a one-year infusion of $3B to the fee schedule, which lessened the scheduled reduction to the Medicare conversion factor, and delayed implementation of a new add-on code (G2211) for three years, the groups noted. Absent any action, SNMMI and others predict that America’s seniors could face reduced access to care.
Others signing the letter included the Alliance for Quality Imaging, the Radiology Business Management Association, the American Society of Neuroradiology and the Society of Interventional Radiology.