In the 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed updating the wages for clinical labor staff. Clinical labor staff, medical supplies and equipment costs are components of direct practice expense inputs (DPEI) — costs directly associated with the provision of a service or procedure. The practice expense components are budget neutral, which means that an increase in payment for one component typically means a proportional decrease in payment in the other components.
As a result of applying budget neutrality, specialties like interventional radiology and radiation oncology — which have high medical supply and equipment costs and lower clinical labor costs — are slated for potentially significant reimbursement reductions.
The American College of Radiology® (ACR®), in conjunction with the Society for Interventional Radiology and other impacted physician organizations, is exploring all regulatory and legislative options to protect radiology practices and patient access to quality care.
More information about the clinical labor wage update proposal is on the ACR website.