Conversion factor of $32.7442 set for 2024, decreasing reimbursement despite record inflation
CMS released its 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and as expected, physicians are looking at another payment cut.
The Medicare finalized conversion factor of $32.7442 is a 3.4% cut from 2023 rates, which in turn, were a 2% reduction from 2022. In contrast, the Medicare Economic Index, a measure of practice cost inflation, increased to 4.6%, the highest this century, which followed a 3.8% increase last year.
While the PFS only applies to Medicare reimbursement, many private payer contracts are tied to Medicare rates, so the cuts to Medicare reimbursement can also affect how much physicians collect from private payers.
In addition to the reimbursement reduction, other highlights of the fee schedule include:
“CMS remains steadfast in our commitment to supporting physicians and ensuring that people with Medicare have access to the care they need to stay healthy as well as navigate health conditions they are facing,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in a statement. “CMS is taking important steps toward those goals in this rule by improving payment for primary care and access to mental health care, paying for new navigation services to help people with cancer and other serious illnesses navigate their treatment, supporting family caregivers, paying for services involving community health workers to address health-related social needs that impact care, and enhancing access to dental care for people with certain cancers.”
There were also a number of changes to various quality programs and their criteria: