The society supports the adoption of the new evaluation and management (E/M) coding structure that the American Medical Association (AMA) has suggested, but the SNMMI notes that the new framework will reduce payments to nuclear medicine by 8% and to radiology by 11% unless Congress removes budget neutrality requirements.
These cuts would be compounded by the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reduced nuclear imaging volume. A survey conducted by the SNMMI found that 93% of respondents experienced a decrease in diagnostic nuclear imaging study volumes due to COVID-19, it said.
"Finalizing the [physician fee schedule] without addressing certain inequities using other funding mechanisms will result in access issues for Medicare beneficiaries and further drive independent physicians and other healthcare providers toward market consolidation," the society said in a statement. "The MPFS proposed rule will also negatively impact our membership who, to a large extent, do not provide E/M services."
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