• Updated Medicare physician fee schedule conversion factor for 2022 nearly the same as 2021    

    A law recently passed by Congress wiped out most of a nearly 10% cut in Medicare payments that family physicians would have otherwise incurred in 2022. The law, signed by President Biden, is called the Protecting Medicare & American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act, or S. 610. 

    In implementing S. 610, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an updated 2022 Medicare physician fee schedule conversion factor (i.e., the amount Medicare pays per relative value unit) of $34.6062. That is slightly less than the 2021 conversion factor of $34.8931, but more than the $33.59 that CMS planned to implement before S. 610 passed. The new conversion factor is included in updated spreadsheets on the CMS website.

    With the new conversion factor and other changes in S. 610, the American Medical Association (AMA) estimates family physicians will see no change in their total Medicare allowed charges in the first quarter of 2022. That’s a substantial improvement over the 8.7% cut the AMA estimated would have occurred if not for S. 610. The AMA estimates most other physician specialties will experience a decrease in their total Medicare allowed charges even with the changes made by S. 610. 

    — Kent Moore, senior strategist for physician payment, American Academy of Family Physicians

    Posted on Jan. 3, 2022, by Kent Moore

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