NCMS Urging Congress to End Medicare Physician Payment Problems

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Medical Society is joining more than 120 medical societies and the American Medical Association (AMA) to urge Congress to work with the physician community to enact long-term solutions to problems in the Medicare physician payment system. The letter also calls on Congress to take action to prevent scheduled Medicare payment cuts from going into effect next year.

In an article for HealthExec, the letter is outlined and includes new analysis which emphasizes the key point that Medicare physician payments have been reduced by 20 percent, adjusted for inflation from 2001-2021. The letter also notes that physicians are the only Medicare providers not receiving an inflationary update in 2023.

The AMA also contends that a discrepancy between what it costs to run a physician practice and the actual payments combined with the administrative and financial burden of participating in Medicare is incentivizing the ongoing healthcare market consolidation.

Medical societies outline Medicare payments action plan for Congress

In the letter to Congress, the national specialty and state medical societies detail why they are “deeply alarmed” about the mounting financial instability of the Medicare physician payment system. They are also asking lawmakers to take the following actions before the end of 2022:

• Provide relief from the scheduled -4.42 percent budget-neutrality cut in Medicare Physician Fee Schedule payments.

• End the statutory annual freeze and provide a Medicare Economic Index update for the coming year.

• Extend the 5 percent 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 AAPMs.

• Waive the 4 percent PAYGO sequester triggered by passage of the American Rescue Plan Act.

The full article with more, in-depth analysis is available by clicking here.