Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Medicare Corner: Part B Physician Spending Fell $14B in Pandemic Year

We've seen headlines that telehealth went up 60X during the pandemic year relative to 2019 - here.

Here's another one.  Despite Medicare notoriously raising Part B premiums by 15% for 2022 - and blaming half the rise of "Aduhelm," the Alzheimer biological with nearly no sales so far - actual Part B payments fell 14% or $14B in CY2020.

Here's an article on the drop at AMA.  Here's the AMA policy report. (PDF, 24pp).


In a quirky and obscure corny of the Medicare fee schedule, I noted that glaucoma screening tests fell 50% in 2020 - from 100 in 2019 to 50 in 2020.  Here.   Spinal taps (62270) fell by 2/3 (from about 80,000 to about 25,000).