Act Now: There’s still time to help us stop the Medicare payment cut!

January 08, 2024
Area(s) of Interest: Public Payors Advocacy 

On January 1, 2024, a 3.37% Medicare physician payment cut took effect due to budget neutrality rules. But it is not too late to stop the cut.

Because Congress passed a continuing resolution that temporarily funds government programs through January 19, 2024, the next opportunity to stop the cuts will be as part of the 2024 appropriations package that Congress must act on by January 19 to avoid a government shutdown.

Contact your members of Congress today and urge them to fix the flawed Medicare physician payment system by supporting the bipartisan H.R. 6683 – the “Preserving Seniors’ Access to Physicians Act of 2023” – and to reverse the 3.37% Medicare payment cut that took effect on January 1.

If Congress partially or entirely stops the cut, they will do so retroactively and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will adjust any claims already paid at the lower rate.

Medicare Cuts are Unsustainable

The latest 3.37% cut comes after three years of consecutive cuts to Medicare physician payments. If Congress does not act, Medicare payments will have been cut by almost 10% in four years, which is simply unsustainable for our nation's physicians.

To make matters worse, physicians are the only Medicare providers whose payments do not automatically receive an annual inflationary update, which means we will not receive a 4.6% update in 2024 like other health care providers. Because of this major flaw in the payment system, Medicare physician payments have lagged 26% behind the rate of inflation since 2001.

More than 6.5 million Californians are enrolled in Medicare and many of these seniors can no longer find a physician who is accepting new Medicare patients. Other patients are waiting longer to see a physician. This lack of access to care is coming at a time when California has growing numbers of seniors with multiple chronic conditions that require more resources. In a recent CMA survey, 70% of California physicians reported that they could be forced to limit their Medicare patient load and nearly half of the physician respondents said they are considering retiring early if the cuts went into effect.

Take Action: Congress needs to act NOW – tell your Representatives to  cancel the cut!


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