The legislation prevents proposed steep cuts to Medicare in 2021 by providing a one-time exemption from budget neutrality rules. That’s important, because CMS is citing those constraints as the reason it’s planning on cutting payment for more than three dozen professions to offset the cost of increases to the office/outpatient Evaluation and Management codes, known as E/M codes, used primarily by physicians. The cuts would take the form of payment reductions to codes commonly used by other professions, with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology projected to receive an estimated 8% cut. The bill would give CMS a one-year exemption from budget neutrality rules around the office/outpatient E/M code increases.
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