December 2, 2020

CMS releases final PFS for 2021, surgeons say rule jeopardizes care

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on December 1 released its 2021 final rule for the Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS), which expands telehealth services and increases payments for primary care and chronic disease management.

The rule also reduces payments for surgeons, emergency physicians, and other healthcare providers because the program is required to be budget neutral.


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The American College of Surgeons (ACS) released a statement saying the PFS will harm patients and further destabilize a healthcare system already strained from the COVID-19 pandemic, and called on Congress to reverse the cuts before they recess for the year (https://www.facs.org/media/press-releases/2020/rule-announcement-120120).

The final rule cuts Medicare payments up to 9% for some surgical specialties starting January 1, 2021.

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