ACC, House of Medicine Continue Full-Court Press to Stop Medicare Cuts; Urge Broad Reform
ACC Advocacy leaders and staff continue to push forward on all fronts – leveraging longstanding relationships on Capitol Hill and activating grassroots networks – to urge Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to take action to mitigate the substantial Medicare payment cuts looming for 2023, including the significant cuts proposed for ablation services.
In the most recent developments, the ACC joined with the American Medical Association (AMA) and the broader house of medicine in a sign-on letter sent to key congressional leaders on Sept. 22, urging Congress to take the following actions:
- Provide relief from the scheduled -4.42% budget neutrality cut in Medicare physician fee schedule payments,
- End the statutory annual freeze and provide a Medicare Economic Index (MEI) update for the coming year,
- Extend the 5% Advanced Alternative Payment Model (AAPM) participation incentive and halt the impossible-to-meet revenue threshold increase for five years to encourage more physicians to transition from fee-for-service into APMs,
- Waive the 4% PAYGO sequester triggered by passage of the American Rescue Plan Act.
The College has activated its grassroots system to allow its members to amplify these messages to Congress with a new Action Alert. In addition to the AMA letter, the College is also urging its members to support the new Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 (H.R. 8800), introduced by Reps. Larry Bucshon, MD, and Ami Bera, MD, on Sept. 13 that would provide an additional 4.42% to the conversion factor to avoid payment cuts associated with budget neutrality adjustments resulting from Medicare policy changes. Importantly, this new legislation also provides an opening for Congress to address systemic issues through long-term reform.
With cuts like these appearing at an alarming frequency on an annual basis, the need for reform has never been clearer. “As we approach the enactment of Medicare payment cuts set to take effect in 2023, the ACC continues to work with stakeholders at every level to protect our patients and the health care system,” said ACC President Edward T.A. Fry, MD, FACC, in a recent statement. “While short-term relief is essential, the urgent need for reform has never been clearer. Our patients deserve our very best, starting with access to high quality, affordable health care. The ACC will continue to work with Congress, the House of Medicine and other stakeholders until we have delivered solutions that ensure clinicians can continue to care for patients.”
To date, the College has submitted formal comments to CMS regarding the proposed 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and the Outpatient Prospective Payment (OPPS) Rule. Additionally, nearly 1,500 advocates helped amplify these comments with letters to CMS in the weeks leading up to the close of the formal public comment period on Sept. 6, while hundreds of ACC members have responded to the latest alert. The ACC has also has set up private meetings with key CMS officials, alongside partner societies, including the Heart Rhythm Society and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, organized more than 25 meetings with individual members of Congress on key committees with oversight of CMS, and been involved in more than 50 political events through HeartPAC.
Stopping the cuts and implementing broader reform is on the agenda for ACC’s upcoming Legislative Conference, taking place Oct. 16-18 in Washington, DC. Urging Congress to achieve sustainable and long-term solutions will be a priority talking point in meetings with members of Congress on the final day of the event. To learn more, access the agenda, or register, visit ACC.org/LegislativeConference.
Keywords: Policy, Angiography, Angiography, Office Visits, Delivery of Health Care, Physicians, Fee Schedules, Outpatients, American Medical Association, Medicare, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., ACC Advocacy
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