Statement attributed to:

Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., MPH

President, American Medical Association


“In a substantive discussion of Medicare, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) last week highlighted the multitude of challenges facing physician practices that result from Medicare’s problematic payment system. The American Medical Association (AMA) appreciates its comments and urges Congress to continue this conversation on the need to reform Medicare.

“MedPAC noted the soaring costs and declining Medicare payments when expressing concern about long-term declines in beneficiary access to care under the current trajectory. Physicians in the past few years have had to weather Medicare cuts, COVID-19, inflation, and the Change cyberattack. It’s no wonder that seniors—especially those in rural and underserved areas—are concerned about continued access to quality care.

“We agree with MedPAC when it noted the risks as the Medicare Economic Index— the measure of practice cost inflation—continues to outpace Medicare fee schedule updates, including patient access problems and threats to physicians’ ability to practice independently. Medicare physician payment declined (PDF) 29% from 2001 to 2024, adjusted for inflation in practice costs. For the past two years, MedPAC recommended payment updates in response to rising MEI. Instead, physicians received cuts of nearly 2 percent this year.

“Congressional leaders are recommending the end of this era of pay cuts and patches. We hope so and urge Congress to pass the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act (HR 2474) and tie future updates to the full MEI. Health care experts across the ideological spectrum have correctly diagnosed the problem. In the coming months, we hope to turn that diagnosis into a Medicare reform cure.”

Media Contact:

Jack Deutsch

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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.