YPS members and news highlights

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The YPS is the voice of young physicians concerned about issues affecting their practice and their patients. Members work to influence policy and advocacy, and address various issues including health equity, work/life balance, income/reimbursement and administrative burdens.

February 2024

From YPS Chair Jordan Warchol, MD, MPH

Jordan Warchol, MD, MPH
Jordan Warchol, MD, MPH

I hope this letter finds you well and that spring has sprung where you are. To me, February always feels like the month my year really gets going. The sun starts peeking out again, people begin to emerge from their cold weather cocoons and I can finally write the year correctly without thinking about it.

This year, however, my year abruptly started in January with the realization that Medicare reimbursement had yet again been cut—this time by 3.4%. Most other years, organized medicine, led by the AMA, has been able to stave off or at least minimize the cuts. However, in the current congressional climate, the basic role of governing has been a monumental challenge, and many things that would otherwise be priorities have fallen by the wayside.

As we know, Medicare is the backbone of the American health care system. Accounting for 21%1 of health expenditures in the U.S., most physician practices rely on their Medicare reimbursements to keep the lights on and the doors open. Even those who see more Medicaid patients (looking at you, pediatricians!) are impacted by Medicare rates, as these often form a baseline to which other reimbursement rates are compared. Repeated cuts to physician reimbursement threaten to collapse health care in this country, especially as the cost of running a practice continues to increase in the face of wage growth and inflationary pressures.

Another opportunity to reverse these harmful cuts is coming up. The House and Senate must pass bills to fund the government in early March. Often, legislation such as Medicare payment reform hops a ride on a legislative vehicle such as these funding bills.

If your practice has been impacted by Medicare cuts, I urge you to reach out to your representative and senators to tell them your story—a simple, heartfelt email goes further than you think. Find out who represents you in Congress. Please also take a few minutes to check out the AMA's Fix Medicare Now website, which includes a historical perspective on how we got here as well as information on how to get involved and resources that can be shared with policymakers to help them understand the grave importance of improving this system. Until there is long-term Medicare payment reform, patient care remains in jeopardy.

Spring is a time of new life and regeneration. Let us all hope that we can breathe some new life into our broken reimbursement system and Fix Medicare Now.

As always, email us at [email protected] with any comments and questions.


1 NHE fact sheet. CMS.gov. Dec. 13, 2023. Accessed Feb. 7, 2024. https://www.cms.gov/data-research/statistics-trends-and-reports/national-health-expenditure-data/nhe-fact-sheet.

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