Protect Medicare patients
It’s urgent that Congress develop a long-term solution to the systemic problems with the Medicare physician payment system and preserve patient access to care.
In 2021 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians faced a perfect storm of Medicare payment cuts by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. All told it would have amounted to a 9.75 percent cut to some physicians which would have severely impeded patient access to care due to the forced closure of physician practices and put further strain on those that remained open during an ongoing pandemic. With the help of physician advocates across the country, the AMA was able to successfully work with Congress on legislation that delayed the payment cuts scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2022. While successful in staving off this round of cuts, we must remain vigilant in the face of future threats to physician payments under Medicare which are sure to come.
It is urgent that Congress work with the physician community to develop long-term solutions to the systemic problems with the Medicare physician payment system and preserve patient access by:
- Extending the Congressionally enacted 3 percent temporary increase in the Medicare physician fee schedule
- Providing relief for an additional 1.5 percent budget neutrality cut that is planned for 2023
- Ending the statutory annual freeze and provide an inflation-based update for the coming year
- Waiving the 4 percent PAYGO sequester necessitated by passage of legislation unrelated to Medicare