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TAKE ACTION – Support Legislation for Medicare Physician Payment Reform

News Article
Feb 7, 2024

Representatives Greg Murphy (R-NC), Danny Davis (D-IL), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Michael Burgess (R-TX), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), and Larry Bucshon (R-IN) have recently introduced H.R. 6683, the Preserving Seniors’ Access to Physicians Act of 2023, to prevent the full Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) cuts from being implemented. This bipartisan legislation would eliminate the 3.37 percent payment reduction that was implemented on January 1, 2024. SGO and more than 100 medical societies endorse this legislation, which is a critical first step toward sustainable physician payment.

The MPFS is the only Medicare payment system without an annual inflationary update. The lack of positive updates combined with the MPFS’ budget neutrality requirement have resulted in the erosion of physician reimbursement over the last two decades. According to an AMA analysis of Medicare Trustees’ data, Medicare physician payment has been reduced by 20% adjusted for inflation over the past 20 years. The last positive update to the MPFS was in 2019 and, for the last three years, Congress has intervened to temporarily mitigate Medicare physician payment cuts. While these short-term fixes have been appreciated, Congress has not acted to mitigate or eliminate the cut that went into effect on January 1.

While H.R. 6683 does not address the perennial challenges posed by the MPFS’s budget neutrality rules, it would go a long way in helping practices cover the growing cost of clinical staff, rent, medical supplies and equipment, malpractice insurance, and other expenses this calendar year. Therefore, SGO is pleased to support H.R. 6683, and we need your help to urge Congress to support this legislation. Please act now and ask your Representatives to co-sponsor and enact H.R. 6683 as soon as possible to protect the Medicare patients that you care for.