December 13, 2022
We've been sounding the alarm bell for months that if Congress didn't act by the end of the year, physicians would face devastating Medicare payment cuts due to a confluence of statutory and budget neutrality payment cuts. Unfortunately, Congress has only a few precious days left to pass legislation to stave off these harmful cuts.
Unless Congress acts by the end of the year, physicians face more than 8.5% in Medicare payment cuts in 2023. If these cuts are allowed to take effect, these cuts will severely impede patient access to care due to the forced closure of physician practices and put further strain on those that remained open during the pandemic.
Physicians are the only providers whose Medicare payments do not automatically receive an annual inflationary update. When adjusted for inflation, Medicare physician payments have dropped by 22% from 2001 to 2021. During this time of record inflation on the heels of a highly disruptive pandemic, this statutory flaw amplifies the impact of proposed payment cuts. Physicians simply cannot afford to operate under the current payment system.
Representatives Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) introduced H.R. 8800 the "Supporting Medicare Providers Act" to help address the flawed payment system and stop 4.5% of the cuts in the Medicare Fee Schedule. Congress must reform the Medicare physician payment system to make it simpler, more reflective of real-world physician practice costs and more sustainable for physicians and patients before it’s too late.
The "lame duck" session of Congress is always a chaotic time with numerous priorities and interests vying to be included in the final must-pass package. With so much at stake, America's patients and physicians cannot afford to get lost in the shuffle.
Some in Congress are only willing to stop 6% of the 8.5% payment cut, leaving a 2% cut. We must stop the full payment cut. See the Members of Congress who have publicly asked to stop the cuts at stopthefullcut.com.
Time is running out. Contact Congress NOW and demand that they protect our patients and practices by canceling these devastating Medicare cuts in their entirety before the clock strikes zero.