The following statement is attributable to:
Bruce A. Scott, M.D.
President, American Medical Association

"With CMS estimating a fifth consecutive year of Medicare payment reductions—this time by 2.8 percent— it’s evident that Congress must solve this problem. In addition to the cut, CMS predicts that the Medicare Economic Index (MEI) – the measure of practice cost inflation—will increase by 3.6 percent. Facing this widening gap between what Medicare pays physicians and the cost of delivering quality care to patients, physicians are urging Congress to pass a reform package that would permanently strengthen Medicare.

“The American Medical Association (AMA) supports H.R. 2474, the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide a permanent, annual update equal to the increase in the MEI.  Additionally, the AMA has a proposal to make Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) more relevant to patients and supports pending legislation to improve the budget neutrality process to better reflect actual Medicare costs. 

“The consecutive years of Medicare cuts demand a comprehensive legislative solution.  Previous quick fixes have been insufficient—this situation requires a bold, substantial approach. A Band-Aid goes only so far when the patient is in dire need. 

“Physician practices cannot continue to absorb rising costs while their payment rates dwindle. The Medicare Physician Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and the Medicare Trustees have issued warnings about the dangers of repeated Medicare cuts and how they threaten access to care.  As one of the only Medicare providers without an inflationary payment update, physicians have waited patiently for this change. Medicare physician payment declined (PDF) 29% from 2001 to 2024, adjusted for inflation.

“The death by a thousand cuts continues. Rural physicians and those treating underserved populations see this CMS warning as another reminder of the painful challenges they face in keeping their practices open and providing care. It’s crucial that we ensure both continue.”

Media Contact:

AMA Media & Editorial

ph: (312) 464-4430

[email protected]

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.