Surgical Care Coalition and Over 100 Medical Organizations Urge Congress to Stop Pending Medicare Cuts That Will Impact Hundreds of thousands of Seniors


WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Surgical Care Coalition and over 100 medical organizations representing multiple million physicians and other health care professionals are joining together to induce Congress to take immediate motion to guard America’s seniors by stopping proposed cuts to Medicare for calendar yr 2023.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed an almost 4.5% cut to the Medicare conversion factor, a key element for calculating Medicare payments. When combined with the pending 4% Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) cut, surgical care faces an almost 8.5% cut next yr. These looming cuts, which come after the two% sequestration cut that was fully reinstated in July,  represent a major threat to the hundreds of thousands of seniors nationwide who depend on the Medicare program to access timely, high-quality care.

In consequence, multiple million physicians and other health care professionals urge Congress to implement no less than a 4.5% adjustment to the Medicare conversion factor, waive the 4% statutory PAYGO requirement and supply a one-year inflationary update based on the Medicare Economic Index. These efforts will provide the Medicare system with short-term fiscal stability and lay the groundwork for long-term payment reforms, the letter states.

“The Surgical Care Coalition and broader community of health care professionals are fighting against these cuts and the continued disinvestment in patient care that jeopardizes patients’ access to critical procedures,” said Patricia Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, American College of Surgeons Executive Director. “While short-term intervention is clearly needed, it’s important we also discover and advance mandatory reforms that create a more robust and reliable Medicare payment system within the long-term.”

The letter further argues that the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule’s (MPFS) budget neutrality requirement, coupled with the shortage of an annual inflationary update, are serious systemic issues that encourage arbitrary cuts to pick out types of care. Moderately than promoting an ecosystem that gives the most effective possible care solutions to patients, CMS continues to introduce cuts that disincentivize collaboration between physicians as they’re pitted against one another for critical resources.

Doug Rhee, MD, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery President added, “When adjusted for inflation, the worth of Medicare payments has declined by 28% over the past 20 years, while the price of running a medical practice has increased exponentially. As medical costs reach record highs, the proposed cuts reflect an unsustainable Medicare payment system that’s out-of-touch with the needs of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Congress must work urgently to stop these cuts and reform the outdated MPFS system.”

The Surgical Care Coalition is committed to developing and promoting policy solutions that will address these risks and help ensure our nation’s seniors maintain access to the high-quality care they deserve.

Read the total letter here.

Concerning the Surgical Care Coalition

The Surgical Care Coalition advocates for access to quality surgical take care of all Americans. The Surgical Care Coalition is comprised of 14 skilled associations that proudly represent the greater than 180,000 surgeons and anesthesiologists working across the country with a typical goal of improving the standard of care, and quality of life, for all patients.

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SOURCE Surgical Care Coalition


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