Don't Cut Patient Access to Care
Stagnant physician payment for Medicare services already exacerbates financial uncertainty for health systems and practices, strains the well-being of the clinician workforce, and threatens patient care. Continued cuts to Medicare services, including drastic reductions to electrophysiology (EP) ablation services included in the proposed 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Rule, further risk patient access to high-value, cost-effective procedures that have been proven to reduce future hospitalizations, improve functionality and lower long-term costs. The need for reform has never been clearer.
ASKS TO CONGRESS:
Long-term, the ACC is asking Congress to partner in developing reimbursement models that promote value, recognize the reality of budget constraints, reward high-quality and high-valued outcomes, and align incentives of payers, patients, and clinicians.
Near-term, the College is urging Congress to include a full Medicare payment fix within any year-end legislative package, which would include addressing the following cuts sent to take place on Jan. 1, 2023:
- A 4.42% cut in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule associated with budget neutrality.
- Imposition of a 4% Statutory PAYGO sequester resulting from passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
- Ongoing cuts to office-based specialties due to clinical labor input changes that will continue through 2025.
These cuts are in addition to a lack of an inflationary update despite clinicians and practices facing significant inflationary costs in their practices. Physicians are the only providers that do not receive an automatic inflationary update within Medicare. When adjusted for inflation, Medicare physician payments have dropped by 22% from 2001 to 2021. Clinicians simply cannot afford to operate under the current payment system. ACC has launched an action alert with a prewritten message to Congress urging them to address these drastic cuts – TAKE ACTION NOW.
Additionally, the ACC supported legislation introduced by Reps. Ami Bera (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN) in September, the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 (H.R. 8800), that would provide temporary relief by adding an additional 4.42% to avoid cuts associated with budget neutrality. ACC has launched an action alert with a prewritten message to members of the U.S. House asking for their support of this legislation – TAKE ACTION NOW.
In addition to urging congressional action, the ACC is engaged alongside partner cardiovascular societies like the Heart Rhythm Society in direct outreach to CMS urging the agency to reconsider the steep reductions proposed for EP codes and taking part in hearings and roundtables with the broader medical community to understand the need for systemic reform to secure the future of our health care system and clinician workforce.
- Dec. 15 Letter to Congressional Leadership on Medicare Cuts
- Wild/Miller-Meeks Medicare Letter
- ACC, House of Medicine Continue Full-Court Press to Stop Medicare Cuts; Urge Broad Reform
- ACC Submits Formal Comments to CMS on CY2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
- Payment Reform Coalition Letter.pdf
- Stabenow/Barrasso Letter on Medicare Physician Payment.pdf