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5 ways the stimulus bill changed physician, practice payments

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The most recent stimulus bill included multiple changes that will affect physician pay and practices going forward, according to a report in Medscape.

Five things to know:

1. The $900 billion COVID-19 relief and $1.4 trillion spending bill signed on Dec. 27 changed aspects of the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule to increase the work relative value units and fees for office and outpatient visits.

2. The rule delayed a new add-on code, HCPCS code G2211, for three years, which is used to describe complexity with evaluation and management services.

3. Funds set aside for the new code are now used to increase the conversion factor. Initially, the conversion factor dropped 10 percent for 2021, but changes from the stimulus bill mean the conversion factor will drop 3.5 percent this year.

4. The stimulus bill added $3 billion to Medicare's potential payments for Part B to support medical practices.

5. Medical practices will likely see flat or increased Medicare revenue in 2021 based on the changes from the stimulus bill, according to the report.

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