Act Now to Help Avert Payment Cuts to Physicians from Medicare

Act Now to Help Avert Payment Cuts to Physicians from Medicare

During the largest healthcare crisis in U.S. history, members of Congress continue to negotiate on an end-of-the-year funding bill that does not address the substantial cuts in Medicare reimbursements to all healthcare providers, scheduled to begin on January 1, 2022.

Congress must pass the continuing resolution (CR) before the end of 2021 to provide a continuum in funding for Federal programs and agencies going into 2022.

However, Congress needs to address the pressing, urgent needs of the U.S. healthcare system as COVID uncertainty over the new Omicron variant looms in our not-too-distant future. Staff shortages, rising wages, and burnout continue to threaten U.S. healthcare.

What are physicians, clinics, and imaging centers facing?

Four key issues face radiologists and other physicians — already stressed by almost two years of pandemic-related logistical and financial issues.

  1. Physicians face a 3.75% cut in the Medicare physician fee schedule halted by Congressional legislation in 2020.
  2. The current Medicare 2% sequestration moratorium is scheduled to expire on January 1, 2022.
  3. The statutory PAYGO (“Pay As You Go”) sequester should be addressed before the end of 2021 to avoid a 4% cut in Medicare payments triggered by the American Rescue Plan Act.
  4. There has been no annual inflation rate adjustment for physicians accepting Medicare.

In what might be called “a perfect storm,” the combination of these four events simultaneously will amount to an almost 11% reduction in Medicare reimbursements beginning on January 1, 2022.

News of another pending temporary Continuing Resolution indicates that it may pass by midnight, December 3rd — without fixing the substantial cuts in Medicare reimbursements due to take effect on January 1, 2022.

This decision would add more burden to our already burdened healthcare system. Providers will suffer as the costs of running their practices continue to escalate.

Act Now — Help Protect the Profession that We Love

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cascading series of events have taken a heavy toll on all healthcare providers. This additional stress over the uncertainty of Medicare reimbursements may prompt more retirements, location closures, and staff reductions, leading to reduced access to essential healthcare services.

As stresses continue to rise on an already over-burdened U.S. healthcare system, take time today to show your support for action NOW.