Today the American College of Physicians (ACP) sent a letter to every member of Congress stressing the importance that the planned increases in payments for evaluation and management (E/M) services and other changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule move forward as scheduled on Jan. 1. In the 2021 MFPS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) included historic improvements in Medicare physician payment policies for primary and comprehensive care services (evaluation and management services), vaccines and telehealth services, while streamlining and reducing documentation burdens on physicians that take time away from patients.
"These improvements are essential toward addressing the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing much needed increases to physicians for their primary, cognitive and comprehensive care services at a time when practices are under severe financial stress and at risk of closing due to lost revenue from COVID-19," said Heather E. Gantzer, MD, FACP, Chair, ACP Board of Regents.
The letter was accompanied by a fact sheet outlining the benefits that the proposed Medicare changes will have and asking members of Congress to communicate to CMS their support for the improvements, and that they do not want to see any changes to them that would reduce the positive impact on patients and physicians. The fact sheet specifically outlined improvements that would be made by increasing payments for E/M services; reducing and streamlining documentation requirements; providing higher payment for complex care; increasing access to telehealth services; increasing payments for vaccine administration; and increasing payment for coordinating care of patients with complex conditions.