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News & Advocacy

Federal Advocacy Update: Medicare Cuts Temporarily Averted; Specialty-Focused Overview of 2022 Fee Schedule

posted: January 4, 2022

Medicare Reimbursement Cuts Temporarily Averted

On Friday, December 10, President Biden signed legislation to phase in and defer Medicare physician payment cuts that were scheduled to take effect on January 1.

Highlights of the physician payment provisions include:

  • A delay in resuming the 2% Medicare sequester for three months, from January 1 to March 31, 2022, followed by a reduction to 1% for three months, from April 1 to June 30, 2022.
  • A one-year increase in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule of 3% (0.75% less than the conversion factor boost provided for 2021).
  • A one-year deferment of the 4% Medicare cut related to statutory “Pay-As-You-Go” (PAYGO) requirements.

The ACR notes that “although this legislation averts the immediate crisis, it pushes to the future smaller cuts that will have the same cumulative impact” and further commits itself “to an ongoing long-term campaign to reform this system by addressing flaws in the physician fee schedule system that lead to annual cuts, revisiting the sequestration policies specific to Medicare, and encouraging Congress to find cost savings in areas of healthcare beyond provider pay that do not risk patient access to care.”

ACR Overview of 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule

On Nov. 2, CMS issued the CY2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule. CMS finalized many policies from the July proposed rule, including the decreased conversion factor, billing for shared visits and teaching services, the continuation of telehealth services and inclusion of an ACR-led Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Value Pathway. Read more