Background: In January of 2021, finalized policies from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will result in significant cuts to physician payment for most surgical services delivered to Medicare patients, destabilize health system financing, and drastically diminish the opportunity for hospital and physician practices to recover financially from COVID-19. To learn more, visit https://www.surgicalcare.org. The ACS continues to urge Congress to intervene and prevent these cuts from moving forward.
Status: On August 3, 2020, CMS released the calendar year 2021 (CY2021) Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule. The ACS strongly opposes changes in the proposed rule which affirms, and in some instances increases, the payment cuts CMS announced last year. As proposed, general surgery would experience a 7% cut to Medicare payments, while nearly all surgical specialties will face additional reductions (cardiac surgery 9%, thoracic surgery 8%, vascular surgery and neurosurgery 7%, and ophthalmology 6%).
The ACS will continue to call on Congress to enact legislation to waive Medicare’s budget neutrality requirements for the E/M adjustments and to require CMS to apply the increased E/M adjustment to all 10- and 90-day global code values, but surgeon advocacy and outreach is critical to this effort.
Contact Congress today and urge lawmakers to prevent cuts to Medicare payment for surgical services!