Physician reimbursement keeps dropping as doctors need predictable, stable sources of revenue.
Cuts to Medicare reimbursement will have effects in physicians’ offices, according to a new poll by AMGA.
The American Medical Group Association joined a growing chorus of health care organizations warning of serious consequences if planned reduction in Medicare reimbursement goes into effect in January 2024. Eliminating services to Medicare recipients and hiring freezes tied, with 65% of member health groups saying those options will be on the table.
“Health care providers need predictable, stable financing that does not require annual end-of-year fixes,” AMGA President and CEO Jerry Penso, MD, MBA, said in a news release. “AMGA members need bipartisan solutions that ensure that they are paid properly without fear of additional cuts to their Part B reimbursements. Congress should reverse these cuts so AMGA members can continue providing robust services to their patients and communities.”
More than 60% of members said they would delay deliver system improvements or care model changes. In the survey, 57% of members said they would eliminate or delay investing in ways to integrate social determinants of health into practices, and more than 50% said redesigning physician compensation could be a possibility.
Some health care workers are stretched thin due to lack of staff, but others could face cuts: 49% of AMGA members said they could furlough or lay off administrative and nonclinical staff next year. That happened in 24% of members this year.
AMGA sent a letter to congressional leadership explaining they need to act or health care will suffer a financial blow.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its proposed physician payment rule for 2024 would reduce the Medicare conversion factor by 3.4%
That would follow three years of cuts that total more than a 6% reduction in Medicare Part B payment rates. Cutting reimbursement by 10% over four years “is simply unsustainable,” according to AMGA. That is part of a 26% reduction from 2001 to 2023, adjusted for inflation, a figure cited by AMGA and other physician and health care advocate organizations.
“Given the actual and potential impacts continued Medicare cuts will have on providers and their patients, Congress must act to stop the proposed cuts in 2024,” Penso said in the letter to congressional leaders. “In the long term, we believe Congress should work with stakeholders to develop a Medicare reimbursement model that covers providers’ costs and rewards value and performance.”