The CAP advocates fair pay for the value pathologists provide—actively representing pathologists' interests in nearly every payment-related policy discussion. The Council on Government and Professional Affairs engages with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Congress, other physician specialty societies, and industry to ensure a favorable payment environment for pathologists and their affiliated physician practices, hospitals, and clinical laboratories.
The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) is published annually in the Federal Register by the CMS. It contains Medicare's payment rates for each of the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes used in pathology practice. The CMS publishes a Proposed Rule on or about July 1 each year, which is open to public comment for 60 days. The CMS publishes a final rule on or about November 1, which becomes effective on January 1 of the next year.
Changes in Payment Rates: Impact Tables
2017 Physician Fee Schedule Impact Table (PDF, 256 KB)
2018 Physician Fee Schedule Impact Table (PDF, 165 KB)
Advocating for You
The CAP participates in the AMA-CPT Advisory Committee as well as administers the Pathology Coding Caucus (PCC). The PCC reviews and provides recommendations to the AMA CPT Editorial Panel on applications for new or revised pathology and laboratory services. For detailed information on the AMA-CPT Process (and applying for a CPT Code) please see the AMA-CPT website.
Participation in AMA/Specialty Society RUC
The CAP advocates for the valuation for pathology services within the Medicare Resource-Based Relative Value Scale. The CAP leads the pathology community's participation in the AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) (PDF, 261 KB). The RUC makes annual recommendations regarding new and revised physician services to the CMS.
For the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule the CAP developed physician work and practice expense recommendations for pathology CPT codes identified for re-valuation. These recommendations were forwarded to the CMS for consideration and final payment decisions. There were a number of impacts to pathology services, for details see the 2017 final rule webinar.