Yesterday CMS issued its annual Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule that includes updates on policy changes for Medicare payments under the PFS and other Medicare Part B issues, on or after January 1, 2021. SNFs across the country were justifiably concerned about another wave of cuts to physical and occupational therapy after taking an eight percent cut last year.
Unfortunately, lobbying efforts did not produce a positive result, with CMS finalizing a 9% cut to both physical and occupational therapy payments for 2021. With many SNFs operating at paper thin (or even negative) margins, many providers are wondering how they will make ends meet in 2021 and beyond. If anything, this will accelerate the trend of mergers and acquisitions, with large health systems gaining more market share and locally-owned providers being squeezed out of the marketplace.
It wasn’t all bad news in the Physician Fee Schedule – there are some reimbursement increases for nurse practitioner services (in an office setting), but these are table scraps for many providers.