ACR urges Congress to stop Medicare cuts

By staff writers

December 16, 2020 -- With the current congressional session winding down, the American College of Radiology (ACR) said it is lobbying Congress to stop looming cuts in Medicare reimbursement and to make improvements to a bill that would establish patient protections against surprise medical billing.

Radiology is set to experience major cuts in reimbursement starting in January under the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule, issued December 1 by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It's estimated that radiology could experience an 11% cut in reimbursement under the MPFS.

With CMS refusing to back down from implementing the MPFS, the ACR and other healthcare organizations have turned to Congress for relief. There are currently two bills, H.R. 8702 and S. 5007, which would derail the cuts, but the legislation will die at the end of the current session if not enacted.

With respect to surprise medical billing, the ACR is reviewing the "No Surprises Act," a bill that would protect patients from large medical bills they receive when they undergo out-of-network care at in-network facilities.

The ACR originally opposed the legislation until changes were made, but it has said that improvements have been made to the bill that it finds favor with. These include the removal of a threshold to access an independent dispute resolution process and the provision of equal weight to all factors presented to the arbiter.

However, the ACR said it is still concerned that publicly funded plans, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and workers compensation, are not excluded from arbiter consideration.

Copyright © 2020

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