The cuts finalized by CMS for 2022 are significant and come on the heels of similarly devastating cuts contained in the 2021 PFS.
The 2022 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule cuts critical services under the PFS by up to 20% and exemplifies the need for fundamental PFS reform relating to the so-called PFS “budget-neutrality” provision. The primary driver of drastic cuts to PFS providers under the 2022 PFS Final Rule, the “budget-neutrality” provision also was the driver of massive cuts in the 2021 PFS Final Rule. These year-over-year “budget-neutral” cuts, being implemented during a pandemic, are causing significant disruption to the healthcare system and are being implemented without regarding to patient outcomes, actual PFS provider resource needs, or any other rationale policy.
It is worth noting that the 2022 cuts are not a unique problem. Specialist cuts have been growing since 2006, reaching upwards of 20%, 30%, 40% and even over 60% in some cases.
As the chart below shows, specialties such as cardiology, pathology, physical therapy, radiology, and vascular surgery, among many others, have been subjected to significant redistribution away from their services for years simply because they provide specialized care.
USPA’s vision is for a Physician Fee Schedule that provides payment stability for office-based specialists and fundamental reform of the so-called "budget-neutrality" provision.
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