The following statement is attributable to:

Jack Resneck Jr., M.D.

President, American Medical Association

“The AMA commends the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) for recognizing that physician pay has not kept up with the cost of practicing medicine. MedPAC today recommended that Congress increase 2024 Medicare physician payments above current law by linking the payment update to the Medicare Economic Index (MEI), something the AMA has long supported. At the same time, we feel strongly that an update tied to 50% of MEI does not go far enough.

"As the only Medicare provider without an inflationary payment update, physicians have waited a long time for this change. When adjusted for inflation, Medicare physician payment has declined (PDF) 22% from 2001 to 2021. Physicians have struggled to keep their practices open in the face of rampant inflation, COVID and growing costs of running a medical practice, and Medicare payments have not responded adequately, capped off most recently by a 2% payment reduction in 2023.

"These increasingly thin operating margins disproportionately affect small, independent, and rural physician practices, as well as those treating low-income or other historically minoritized or marginalized patient communities. Seniors and physicians deserve a stable Medicare payment system that ensures access for future generations. The AMA and others are asking Congress to reform Medicare to make it more rational and serve patients better. As part of this, Congress should adopt a 2024 Medicare payment update that recognizes the full inflationary growth in health care costs.”

Medicare reform is a central plank in the AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians.

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.

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