The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) released a statement opposing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed annual Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program rule, which sets 2021 Medicare payment rates for physicians and includes changes to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.
“Ophthalmology lost more patient volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic than any other medical specialty. Many practices furloughed or laid off staff; some ophthalmologists themselves were furloughed by their employers. As ophthalmologists struggle to return to ‘normal,’ working to rehire staff, if they’re still available, managing a backlog of delayed care and instituting costly new safety procedures to protect their patients and staff from the virus, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed that ophthalmologists take a 6 percent pay cut for 2021. Our already weakened health care system can’t take anymore,” the AAO stated in a news release.