Released on Dec 16, 2020

Final Push to Stop Medicare Physician Payment Cuts

Last week, Congress passed a stop-gap spending bill that will keep the federal government funded through December 18 while congressional leaders continue work on reaching a deal this week on spending and stimulus legislation. That means time is running short for physicians to make their voices heard. 

For months the medical community has been lobbying lawmakers to ensure that added financial relief is included for physicians in a year-end bill. Without action from Congress, the Medicare conversation factor will be cut by 10.2 percent next year. Specialties that perform a high volume of procedure-based services will be impacted by the payment cut more significantly than those that perform cognitive care services.

ASGE members are urged to take action by contacting their members of Congress and asking them to stop the cut. 

Support for protecting physicians from a payment cut has been growing in Congress with legislation introduced in the Senate on December 10 by Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) that would provide two years of payment stability for Medicare providers. The bill (S. 5007) is nearly identical to legislation (H.R. 8702) introduced in the House by Reps. Ami Bera (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN) that holds physicians harmless from Medicare payment cuts for two years while allowing policy and payment changes to evaluation and management codes to take effect on Jan. 1, 2021. ASGE joined nearly 80 organizations on a letter in support of the Senate bill. 

About Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures allow the gastroenterologist to visually inspect the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) and the lower bowel (colon and rectum) through an endoscope, a thin, flexible device with a lighted end and a powerful lens system. Endoscopy has been a major advance in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. For example, the use of endoscopes allows the detection of ulcers, cancers, polyps and sites of internal bleeding. Through endoscopy, tissue samples (biopsies) may be obtained, areas of blockage can be opened and active bleeding can be stopped. Polyps in the colon can be removed, which has been shown to prevent colon cancer.

About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Since its founding in 1941, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has been dedicated to advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence and innovation in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 15,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit and for more information and to find a qualified doctor in your area.


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