American College of Rheumatology Comments on CY 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
September 11, 2023 | Advocacy
ATLANTA – The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) today submitted its comments in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) CY 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program proposed rule specifically addressing the proposed conversion factor, telehealth policies, and implementation of a new complex code, among other issues.
As workforce shortages and increased inflation are already driving up practice costs, ACR asks CMS to forgo the proposed 3.34% decrease in the conversion factor that will further damage an already strained payment system and impact the financial solvency and stability of healthcare practices.
ACR also supports a proposed extension to continue telehealth flexibilities through the end of 2024. Many of these policies were implemented to ensure continued access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic and were extended through 2024 in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. ACR firmly believes a more comprehensive telehealth service option will be a permanent fixture in the future of healthcare, and given that, discussions should continue to ensure telehealth services provide a supplemental method of care rather than a substitute for in-person care.
The letter also noted that “members strongly advocate for a comprehensive reform of the Medicare reimbursement program to allow for a more accurate representation of the medical decision-making and resources needed to provide the best and most appropriate treatment for our patients” when advocating for a new add-on code, the G221. ACR advocates that implementation will better recognize clinicians' inherent resource costs when longitudinally managing a patient's overall health or treating a patient's single, serious, or complex chronic condition when billing for office or outpatient evaluation and management (E/M).
“Medicare physician payments must reflect the impact of the broader economy on physician practices and ensure appropriate reimbursement for our members and the important care services they provide,” said Douglas White, MD, PhD, president, American College of Rheumatology. “We appreciate this opportunity to comment on the proposed rule and look forward to working with CMS on future policies that ensure patients with rheumatic diseases continue to have access to quality rheumatologic care.”
Read the ACR’s full comment letter.
About the American College of Rheumatology
Founded in 1934, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a not-for-profit, professional association committed to advancing the specialty of rheumatology that serves nearly 8,500 physicians, health professionals, and scientists worldwide. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatology professionals are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.