January 22, 2024 — The American College of Cardiology is again urging members of Congress to retroactively eliminate the 3.37% cut to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule currently in effect and preserve patient access to care:
“Less than three weeks into the new year, Congress has already left clinicians holding the bag again on Medicare payment reform. By not including a fix to the 3.37% cut to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule in the most recent continuing resolution, practices around the country are left in a state of uncertainty for their own futures, as well as patient access to care,” said American College of Cardiology President B. Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC. “While it is critical that Congress was able to pass a continuing resolution, offering certainty for many vital services, I am disappointed that clinicians and patients within Medicare will continue to be left out and left behind. The American College of Cardiology will continue to press members of Congress to pass the Preserving Seniors’ Access to Physicians Act of 2023 and ensure all can receive necessary, high quality medical care. We must achieve this short-term, but crucial, fix so we can all focus on advancing long-term reforms to the current Medicare system.”
A full fix to the 3.37% cut is necessary to combat the lack of inflationary update despite clinicians and practices facing significant inflationary cost pressure. Physicians are the only providers that do not receive an automatic inflationary update within Medicare. Medicare physician payments have dropped by 26% in the last 20 years, while practice expenses have risen by 47% over the same period. Congress must act now to avert this crisis to maintain stable, consistent access to care for some of America’s most vulnerable patients.
The ACC is leading the charge to transform cardiovascular care delivery. Tasked with advocating for cardiovascular patients and providing a professional home for the entire cardiovascular team, the ACC is committed to developing and advancing solutions that will optimize the delivery of cardiovascular care, increase access to care and improve patient outcomes and health. However, significant reforms are required within the current Medicare system to achieve the ACC’s vision. Learn more about the ACC’s Vision for Optimal Cardiovascular Care at ACC.org/OptimizeCVCare.
For more information: www.acc.org