Wednesday, 14 July 2021
CMS Proposed Rule for 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Underscores the Need and the Urgency for MAASA Enactment by Congress
On Tuesday, July 13, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for the 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS).
ADA’s advocacy team will carefully analyze the CMS Proposed Rule, 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule to advocate for improvements and to provide members with critical information and recommendations related to its potential impact on the delivery of audiology services, reimbursement, reporting, and compliance.
ADA’s preliminary review of the Proposed Rule affirms that Medicare beneficiaries will not achieve much-needed access to audiology services unless the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (MAASA) is enacted. You can help MAASA pass -- Register to attend the ADA Virtual Fly-in Senate Sign-on Challenge!
The Proposed Rule documents CMS’s lack of authority to include audiologists among providers who can be reimbursed by Medicare Part B for telehealth services on a permanent basis because such changes must be made in statute.
In the Proposed Rule, CMS repeatedly and consistently notes that at the conclusion of the declared COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) and the subsequent expiration of telehealth waivers, the types of clinicians who may furnish and bill for Medicare telehealth services will once again be restricted by statute to include only physicians as defined in section 1861(r) of the Social Security Act (the Act) and practitioners described in section 1842(b)(18)(C) of the Act. Since audiologists are not currently included in either section they will not be reimbursed by Medicare for telehealth services after the PHE sunset.
MAASA will make the necessary updates to the Social Security Act to reclassify audiologists from suppliers to practitioners as described in section 1842(b)(18)(C) of the Act so beneficiaries have better access to care.
The Proposed Rule contains no provision to remove the physician order requirement for Medicare Part B beneficiaries seeking coverage for audiology services.
The CMS Proposed Rule does not contain a provision to allow Medicare beneficiaries to have direct access to audiologists, despite repeated requests from ADA, numerous expert opinions outlining the health and financial advantages of such action, and despite an acknowledgement from Congress that the CMS has the authority to remove the physician order requirement through regulation.
MAASA will statutorily mandate the elimination of the physician order requirement for Medicare Part B beneficiaries seeking audiology services. In addition, MAASA will update the definition of audiology services within statute to include treatment services such as cerumen removal, aural rehabilitation, and vestibular rehabilitation.
AuDvocate for AuDiology at the ADA Virtual Fly-in Senate Sign-on Challenge
It has never been more important for Members of Congress to understand the value of the services that you provide to your patients each and every day! Let’s make some noise before the Senate adjourns for August Recess! On August 3rd, 4th, and 5th, ADA members and AuDvocates from around the nation will conduct a combined 100 virtual visits to connect with every U.S. Senator in every state.
Make the case for your legislators to co-sponsor the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (MAASA), H.R. 1587 / S. 1731.