From the Society

SHM urges Congress to reverse changes in reimbursement rates under 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

Approximately 8% reduction in reimbursement for hospitalists


On Dec. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, which finalized proposed changes to Medicare reimbursement rates, including a significant negative budget neutrality adjustment. For hospitalists, the Society of Hospital Medicine estimates that the adjustment will amount to an estimated 8% reduction in Medicare reimbursement rates, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

Dr. Eric E. Howell, chief, division of hospital medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore

Dr. Eric E. Howell

“These cuts are coming at the exact wrong time. During the chaos of 2020, when hospitalists have been essential to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, they should not be met with a significant pay reduction in 2021,” said Eric E. Howell, MD, MHM, chief executive officer of the Society of Hospital Medicine. “While we at SHM support increasing pay for outpatient primary care, which is driving these cuts, we do not believe now is the right time to make significant adjustments to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. We now call on Congress to do the right thing for hospitalists and other frontline providers who have otherwise been lauded as heroes.”

SHM will continue to fight for hospitalists and to advocate to reverse these cuts. To send a message of support to your representatives, visit SHM’s Legislative Action Center and click on “Support the Holding Providers Harmless from Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act of 2020.” To learn more about and become involved with SHM’s advocacy efforts, visit

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