On July 13, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the annual Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule. The rule describes proposed payment and policy changes for 2022. This year, the rule included several proposals which could significantly impact physiatry.
Of immediate concern, the rule includes a reduction to the Conversion Factor from $34.89 to $33.58, primarily due to the expiration of the +3.75% one year update Congress provided at the end of last year. Your Academy advocated strongly in favor of the 3.75% increase to physician payment in 2020. CMS has also proposed a one-year delay of implementation of penalties associated with the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) Program, which will now go into effect January 1, 2023 rather than 2022. Other provisions outlined in the rule include changes to coverage of telehealth services as well as changes to mechanisms by which physician assistants are paid via Medicare. We are currently reviewing the proposed rule in detail. In the coming weeks, the Academy website will be expanded to include additional information about the rule. A comprehensive fact sheet is available on CMS’ website.