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.