Advocacy Update

July 14, 2023: Medicare Payment Reform Advocacy Update


On June 15, Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN)—along with original cosigners Reps. Kim Schrier, MD (D-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Mariannette Miller-Meeks, MD (R-IA) and Brad Schneider (D-IL)—circulated a Dear Colleague and sign-on letter to House leadership in support of Medicare physician payment reform. This letter builds off the congressional request for information these bipartisan lawmakers issued last September, soliciting feedback from stakeholders on a comprehensive solution to bring the physician Medicare payment program into the 21st century. It also comes on the heels of the first MACRA oversight hearing held in years by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on June 22. The AMA sent a letter (PDF) to the committee in advance of the hearing

The letter recognizes that MACRA is on a downward trajectory. Please contact your member of Congress to request that they sign on to the Bera-Bucshon letter to House leadership, urging them to make MACRA reform a priority. The sign-on deadline has been extended until July 27. 

The latest in a series of “Medicare basics” issue briefs providing an in-depth look at important elements of the Medicare physician payment system is now available. This series is intended to provide relatively straightforward explanations for policymakers and physician advocates about elements of the payment system and why they are in need of reform.   

The rest of the series—along with additional resources to help guide your advocacy efforts—is available on the AMA’s Fix Medicare Now website and the AMA website.  

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) has now posted slides and a transcript of its June 27 webinar describing the recently announced MCP alternative payment model, which will start in eight states in July 2024. For example, the webinar discussed how MCP will support better integration of participating primary care physicians’ services and those provided by other specialists. MCP will share data on specialty care with participants and provide new specialty integration payments to support better communication and collaboration, with priority assigned to services of cardiologists, orthopaedic surgeons and pulmonologists. CMMI officials also discussed plans to provide upfront infrastructure payments to participants, to provide enhanced services payments and to align the Medicare model with state Medicaid programs and other payers. 

The eight states where MCP will be available are: Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina. Physicians who are interested in applying should submit a non-binding Letter of Intent. CMMI expects to release a Request for Applications later this summer. More information about MCP is available.