The AAMC joined over 90 physician and other health care stakeholder groups in a Feb. 25 letter to key congressional committee leaders urging them to initiate proceedings to discuss potential reforms to the Medicare physician payment program.
The letter to Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-Texas), and Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) highlighted Congress’ action in recent years to mitigate cuts to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) due to “budget neutrality requirements and the lack of an annual inflationary update” [refer to Washington Highlights, Dec. 10, 2021].
The authors noted, however, that these issues create instability for both physicians and non-physician health care clinicians, and their patients. The letter also mentioned challenges that physicians and other providers have in accessing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act’s Quality Payment Program due to low incentive payments and the inability for most physicians to fully integrate into the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.
The letter concluded by urging the committee leaders to continue to build on bipartisan, bicameral efforts to improve the Medicare physician payment program by “establish[ing] a pathway for identifying policy solutions that will ensure long-term stability for the MPFS.”