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Rep. Bera: Bipartisan Bill Protects Physicians from Medicare Pay Cuts

Sep 21, 2022 12:00AM ● By Office of Congressman Ami Bera, M.D.

WASHINGTON, DC (MPG) - U.S. Representatives Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN), introduced on September 13, 2022, bipartisan legislation to provide critical relief to physicians who are scheduled to receive Medicare payment cuts. The Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 would ensure payments to these providers are kept stable and extend certain increases in payments for physicians’ services under the Medicare program through 2023.

“As an internal medicine doctor by training, I know that cutting payments for physicians further strains our health care system and the ability for health care professionals to provide the best care for their patients,” said Representative Bera. “It’s time Congress reforms Medicare provider payments to ensure that we have a stable Medicare payment system so that we can transition move towards value, not volume.”

“Doctors across Indiana and the nation are already experiencing record levels of burnout and critical staffing shortages. Now, they face looming pay cuts that once again threaten financial viability. I joined my colleague Representative Ami Bera, M.D. to introduce practical, commonsense legislation to ensure that providers receive adequate and fair compensation for their work. We must work to stabilize physician payment so that patients have access to the care they need,” said Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D.

Reps. Bera and Bucshon have been long standing champions and have led successful efforts to mitigate proposed cuts in health care payments. Last week, they issued a Request for Information regarding the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 to identify steps Congress should take to stabilize the Medicare payment system, without dramatic increases in Medicare spending, while ensuring successful value-based care incentives are in place.

In 2023, physicians face more than 8.42% payment cuts, this bill would stop the 4.42% cuts in Medicare payments providers will face on January 1st.

“An imminent 4.42% physician payment cut as we emerge from a global pandemic will have a devastating impact on access and care for Medicare beneficiaries. Moving forward with this cut now is wrongheaded and inconceivable. Yet this is what is scheduled to take place. The AMA commends Reps. Bera and Bucshon for acknowledging the disparity between what it costs to run a physician practice and what these cuts will mean for patient care in the Medicare program. Our patients are counting on Congress to agree to a solution, and the clock is ticking,” said Dr. Jack Resneck Jr, president of the American Medical Association.

“The ACS strongly supports the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022, which would stop the 4.42% cuts in Medicare payments that surgeons and other providers are facing on January 1st,” said American College of Surgeons Executive Director Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS. “We are grateful to Reps. Bera and Bucshon for introducing this bipartisan legislation and applaud their leadership to ensure patients continue to have access to the surgical care they need.”

“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule, if implemented, will result in untenable Medicare payment cuts for physicians and jeopardize patients’ timely access to primary care. That’s why the American Academy of Family Physicians endorses the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022, which will avert these cuts and ensure physicians can continue serving Medicare patients for another year. Importantly, this legislation signals that more administrative and legislative action is needed to ensure sustainable Medicare physician payment, transition to value-based care, and address health disparities. The AAFP continues to advocate for payment reforms that appropriately invest in primary care and ensure physicians have the resources and flexibility they need to care for all their patients. Only then can we truly move the needle on health equity, better population health, and health care expenditures,” said Sterling N. Ransone, Jr., MD, FAAFP, President, American Academy of Family Physicians.

 

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