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American College of Rheumatology Reacts to CY 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

November 2, 2023 | ACR NewsAdvocacy


ACR troubled by Medicare payment cuts, encouraged by extension of telehealth flexibilities and implementation of new add-on code for complex chronic condition evaluation and management

ATLANTA – The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) expressed concern that the conversion factor included in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) CY 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program final rule is insufficient to address rising inflation. However, ACR is pleased with the rule’s extension of telehealth flexibilities and the implementation of a new add-on code, G2211, for evaluation and management services to address complex chronic conditions.

ACR is disappointed that CMS finalized a decrease in the CY2024 conversion factor (CF) from $33.06 to $32.75, which equates to a 3.34% payment cut and fails to account for rising inflation in the United States. In its September comment letter, ACR noted that this change could worsen the financial stability of medical practices, exacerbate the ongoing healthcare workforce shortage, and harm the already strained payment system, all of which will negatively impact patient access to care.

“Patient access to care should come first, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for rheumatology professionals to continue offering accessible and high-quality care with the cuts we’re seeing,” said Douglas White, MD, PhD, president of the American College of Rheumatology. “Given this final rule, we now ask Congress to intervene to ensure that the Medicare payment policy more accurately reflects the impact of the broader economy on physician practices and ensures appropriate reimbursement.”

Meanwhile, the ACR welcomes the extension of telehealth flexibilities until Dec. 31, 2024, which will provide time for rheumatology practices to adjust to post-pandemic regulations. The ACR will continue to advocate for maintaining telehealth flexibilities beyond the extended deadline, including telephone evaluation and management (E/M) visits, audio-only visits, and real-time audio/video technology.

ACR also applauds the finalized new evaluation and management (E/M) add-on code for complex chronic conditions, effective Jan. 1, 2024.

“We’re encouraged to see that CMS listened to our concerns and extended telehealth flexibilities as well as implemented the G2211 code, which will help Medicare beneficiaries and their physicians better manage complex and chronic rheumatic diseases. We look forward to continuing to work with CMS and other healthcare stakeholders to ensure future policies benefit patients and clinicians,” White concluded.

Media Contact
Monica McDonald


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.

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