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Proposed CMS Fee Schedule Calls for Lab, Pathology Cuts

NEW YORK – The proposed 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule released this week calls for cuts to laboratory reimbursement rates.

Issued by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday, the proposed fee schedule would cut overall pathology service payments by 9 percent compared to 2020 and independent lab services by 5 percent.

Among the largest scheduled cuts is to the professional component of pathology tissue examinations, which is slated to drop 12 percent to $34.52 to $39.34.

The proposed scheduled is slated to be finalized this fall and will go into effect at the beginning of 2021.

CMS will accept comments on the proposed schedule until October 5, 2020.

The 2020 fee schedule left overall payments for pathology even with 2019 levels while raising clinical lab payments by 1 percent.