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Physicians can breathe a little easier going into 2021 – Congress has erased the deep Medicare fee cuts CMS laid out in the final 2021 physician fee schedule as an offset to higher E/M pay rates.
Careful readers of the final 2021 Medicare physician fee schedule noticed that the rule contains total times for codes 99202-99215. But those times don't match the time ranges for the revised E/M codes.
 
Physicians are facing a 10.2% drop in the Medicare conversion factor (CF) starting Jan. 1, as an offset to broad new increases in reimbursement rates for E/M office visits and other E/M-like services, according to the final 2021 Medicare physician fee schedule released Dec. 1.
 
Part B News has examined the basics of the 2021 physician fee schedule proposed rule that was released on August 4, and we'll have plenty more analysis and guidance on the topic in the days to come. Meanwhile, here are some reflections on different parts of the rule by some of Part B News' stable of experts. ​
 
You can expect to see wild swings to Medicare pay rates in 2021, according to proposals CMS released this morning. The agency announced a nearly 11% cut to the Medicare physician fee schedule’s conversion factor (CF), dropping it to a rate of $32.26 next year, down from $36.09 in 2020.
 
Influencing the substantial decrease to the CF are the projected pay increases to the core set of E/M office visit codes (99202-99215). CMS confirmed that the E/M office visit codes remain on track for their first major overhaul in 25 years, according to the proposed 2021 Medicare physician fee schedule.
 

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