More than 200 professional medical association co-signed the letter asking for Congressional action before the end of the year.
The Medical Group Management Association sent a letter to Congress advocating for a 3.75% payment adjustment for all services to the Physician Fee Schedule for Medicare for 2022. The letter was co-signed by more than 200 professional medical organizations, including the American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Medical Association.
MGMA says the 3.75% adjustment for 2022 is necessary to provide stability and avoid disruptions to Medicare, especially as the pandemic continues to impact care. Without the increase, MGMA argues that Medicare patients could lose timely access to essential health care services. A 3.75% adjustment was made for 2021, but it was only temporary, and will soon expire.
“Our organizations would welcome the opportunity to work with Congress to address long-term challenges associated with Medicare payment policy, especially the budget neutrality provision in the MPFS that has precipitated these steep cuts,” the letter reads.
Further acknowledging this issue’s urgency and critical nature, nearly 250 bipartisan House members signed a “Dear Colleague” letter (finalized October 2021) — spearheaded by Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) — calling on Congress to take action to avert these and other automatic Medicare payment cuts before the end of the year.
After CMS indicated it will allow the 2021 payment adjustment to expire at the end of the year, Reps. Bera, MD, and Bucshon, MD, ultimately introduced H.R. 6020, bipartisan legislation to extend the 3.75% update to the conversion factor for an additional year.
The letter continues: “With the legislative calendar waning, we urge Congress to make a critical investment in the nation’s health care delivery system by embracing swift action to address the imminent cuts to Medicare payments by extending the 3.75% payment adjustment through at least CY 2022. Maintaining this level of funding will provide much-needed stability for physician and non-physician providers, as well as their patients, and provide an opportunity for renewed discussions regarding long-term systemic reforms in the New Year.”
"Throughout the ongoing pandemic during which physicians have risked their own health and grappled with significant financial instability, Congress is poised to allow a 10 percent Medicare cut to take effect,” Gerald E. Harmon, MD, president, American Medical Association, said in a a statement. “These cuts are unsustainable during normal times, and they are reckless during a public health emergency. The result of congressional inaction is that Medicare patients are certain to experience reduced access to care. There is plenty of blame to go around for this unnecessary situation.”