Dec. 1, 2023: Medicare Payment Reform Advocacy Update

. 3 MIN READ

The AMA, alongside nearly 120 national medical associations and state medical societies, sent a letter (PDF) to House and Senate leadership strongly urging Congress to quickly pass legislation to stop another impending round of Medicare payment cuts.  

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    Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule for the 2024 Medicare physician fee schedule, which included a previously anticipated 3.37% reduction in physician payments for next year.  

    If Congress does not act before the end of 2023, this proposed cut will go into effect and patient access to care will be negatively impacted, particularly for those who rely on small, independent, and rural physician practices for their care. 

    Physicians are the only Medicare providers whose payments do not automatically receive an annual inflationary update.  For 2024, Medicare’s estimate of practice cost inflation for physicians (the Medicare Economic Index, or MEI) is 4.6%. Since 2001, Medicare physician payments have lagged 26% behind the rate of MEI growth. 

    Without congressional action to stop this impending payment cut, many physicians will be forced to reduce available health care services, cut office hours or even forgo treating Medicare patients altogether. America’s physicians and their patients deserve better.  

    Please contact your members of Congress to urge them to cancel the cut.

    CMS has extended the application deadline for its new Making Care Primary (MCP) Model by two weeks; the new deadline for application submission is Dec. 14 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time. The MCP application is non-binding and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.  

    MCP will launch on July 1, 2024, in eight states which include Colorado, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Upstate New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Washington. The model aims to improve outcomes and reduce costs through enhanced care management and better coordination with non-primary care specialists and other health professionals. 

    The AMA recently hosted a webinar with ACP and AAFP in which CMS MCP staff answered live physician questions about the model, a recording of which is available on the AMA site, which has also been developed into a set of FAQs (PDF). Eligibility requirements and additional model details can be found in the Request for Applications (RFA) (PDF). CMS’ MCP webpage also includes additional FAQs and other resources.

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