Physicians are facing another round of Medicare payment cuts in 2023. Unless Congress acts by the end of the year, physician Medicare payments are planned to be cut by 8.42% in 2023 which would severely impede patient access to care due to the forced closure of physician practices and put further strain on those that remained open during the pandemic.
These scheduled cuts will come in three forms:
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): CMS has proposed a 4.42% cut for all physician services in 2023 to offset payment policy improvements in office and facility-based visits.
- No inflationary update: Physicians are the only providers whose Medicare payments do not automatically receive an annual inflationary update; during this time of record inflation on the heels of a highly disruptive pandemic, this statutory flaw amplifies the impact of proposed payment cuts.
- PAYGO: Congressional Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rules have been triggered requiring an automatic 4% cut as a result of new federal spending having nothing to do with physicians. These cuts will kick in in 2023 unless waived by Congress.
Physicians simply cannot afford to operate under the current payment system. Congress must reform the Medicare physician payment system to make it simpler, more reflective of real-world physician practice costs, and more predictable for both physicians and CMS before it is too late.
Recently, Representatives Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) introduced the "Supporting Medicare Providers Act" (H.R. 8800) to help address the flawed payment system and provide relief from the devastating cuts.
This is a great first step but with only a handful of legislative days left it is critical that Congress act to pass it or any other legislation that will prevent these devastating cuts from going into effect. Please take a moment and contact your Senators and Representative to tell them to cancel the cuts.