Radiology organizations call on Congress to avoid impending Medicare physician fee cuts in 2023

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This week, eight diagnostic imaging stakeholders came together in a letter to top congressional committee leaders to express concern over impending double-digit reductions in payments for radiology services resulting from the proposed rule by the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for 2023, combined with the expiration of previous Congressional interventions. Their joint letter was sent to the chairs and senior members of the Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The stakeholder letter recalls that Congress previously enacted the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which was designed to bring stability to the healthcare infrastructure. country’s health care system and ensure access to vital health services, but instead each year the Medicare payment system brings potential catastrophic payment reductions that can only be avoided by action by the Congress. They called on committee leaders not only to tackle these immediate cuts, but also to seek more permanent solutions, such as repealing budget neutrality and pegging reimbursement to inflation.

Subsequently, the co-signer of the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) letter issued a statement highlighting the concerns of MITA and other co-signers regarding the ongoing MPFS cuts. MITA Executive Director Patrick Hope said, “[t]There is no doubt that the past two and a half years have fundamentally changed our healthcare landscape, but that is all the more reason why policy makers should seek to support healthcare providers, not cut.” In the statement, Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) Director Director Bob Still told MITA, “[b]Between historic inflation, a lingering pandemic, and the emerging threat of double-digit cuts, patient access to care is under threat like never before,”

MITA spoke with Christopher Crancer, Senior Vice President of Partnerships and Radiologist Policy and Executive Director of the RAYUS Quality Institute, who observed, “[t]These cuts will result in disproportionately limited access to care for those who need it most. Congress and the CMS must act to provide the system with much-needed ongoing stability and predictability by implementing inflation indexing and eliminating outdated “budget neutral” restrictions.

MITA’s statement also quotes William T. Thorwarth, MD, FACR, chief executive of the American College of Radiology, saying, “[w]With the use of cancer screenings and other imaging tests not fully rebounding to pre-COVID levels, and experts predicting additional deaths due to this trend, Congress must act to prevent these cuts. drastic imaging to further reduce access and further aggravate a bad situation.

Radiology organizations remind congressional leaders of the lingering global pandemic, an ensuing supply chain crisis, and the steep increase in the cost of nearly every aspect of sustaining operations. I couldn’t agree more with their view that “the latest rule reductions proposed by the MPFS will only make matters worse and threaten access to vital procedures and the continued operation of essential services”.

Equally damaging, the authors suggest, the cut would intensify pressures for an impending 4% cut in payout (PAYGO) and a 2% cut in Medicare sequestration intended to bring CMS’s budget in line with the budget. federal general. constraints.

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