Association offers analysis of pending legislation that could help health care practices better serve patients.
Medicare cuts are coming and that’s bad news for physicians, but there is still time for federal lawmakers to act.
The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) submitted its policy analysis on Medicare in comments for the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. The committee’s Subcommittee on Health has been meeting this month to discuss pending legislation, pressing issues in health care, and how federal regulations are affecting physicians, patients, and the health care sector.
Debate and testimony started in the hearing “What’s the Prognosis? Examining Medicare Proposals to Improve Patient Access to Care & Minimize Red Tape for Doctors.” MGMA Senior Vice President-Government Affairs Anders Gilberg submitted written comments for that hearing.
“While MGMA is supportive of a fiscally responsible Medicare system that puts patients first, we remain concerned that current policies place unnecessary administrative burdens on medical groups, thus impacting access to care,” said the letter from Gilberg to subcommittee Chair Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Kentucky) and Ranking Member Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-California).
Next year could bring a 3.36% cut in the conversion factor, as proposed by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Congress needs to work stop that, Gilberg said. From 2001 to this year, Medicare physician payment has effectively decreased by 26% when adjusted for inflation, he said.
An alternative is in the bill known as the “Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act.” It would create a yearly Medicare physician payment update tied to inflation, based on the Medicare Economic Index, Gilberg said.
“Addressing the proposed conversion factor cut and providing sustainable reimbursement will allow medical groups to thrive and focus on providing high-quality care,” he said in the letter.
MGMA members were nearly unanimous – 97% – agreeing fewer regulatory burdens would allow them to dedicate more resources to patient care. MGMA is endorsing additional legislation to change health care for the better.
MGMA is holding its 2023 Leaders Conference this week in Nashville, Tennessee. Find coverage at Physicians Practice, a sister publication of Medical Economics.