Take Action Now: Medicare physician pay cuts are a no-go

Take Action Now: Medicare physician pay cuts are a no-go

This year healthcare providers are facing a grim reality – a 3.37 percent reduction to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Conversion Factor (CF). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) confirmed this cut in the 2024 Medicare PFS final rule, and it went into effect on January 1st, 2024. This has major implications for the healthcare industry and will undoubtedly impact the quality of healthcare for Medicare beneficiaries.

The 3.37% reduction to CF is primarily due to the budget neutrality adjustments caused by CMS beginning to cover add-on CPT code G2211. This code applies to new and established patients, office/outpatient evaluation, and management (E/M) services. It’s important to note that this cut could potentially offset the anticipated cost of covering this code with reductions elsewhere in the PFS. Additionally, the 2024 CF reduction also includes a 1.25% cut compared to 2023 as specified in legislation passed by Congress, which instituted a 2.5% increase to the CF in 2023 and a 1.25% rise to the CF in 2024.

Fortunately, there are several bills that have been introduced in Congress to mitigate some or all of the 3.37% CF reduction for 2024. There’s growing momentum for Congress to include one of these bills as part of a government funding bill that must pass by January 19th. It’s important to reach out to your local representatives as soon as possible and make your voice heard.

The stakes are high, particularly as this cut will impact providers and, ultimately, patients. It’s essential to recognize that something must be done to reverse this cut as it will have a significant impact on patient care. Therefore, we, as a part of the healthcare industry and community, should do our best to advocate against this cut. By coming together and making our voices heard, we can urge Congress to pass legislation that would mitigate the CF reduction.

One crucial way to do that? Contacting your local representatives and letting them know that this cut will ultimately hurt patients’ quality of care. Every citizen has the power to make a change in their community and every healthcare provider has the power to shape the future they want to see in the industry. All it takes is one letter, one phone call, or even one email.

While interacting with Congress members and their staff may feel intimidating, remember that they work for us. They are there to represent our voices in government, and we should use this privilege to make them aware of our needs. As healthcare providers, we took an oath to do no harm, and this cut will undoubtedly impact the quality of care for our patients. Ultimately, our goal is to prioritize the health of our patients, and by working together, we can make sure that their needs are accounted for in government legislation that impacts our industry.

As healthcare providers, the 3.37% cut to the CF is alarming and should be taken seriously. But we, as a community, have the power and the responsibility to take action and be heard. With legislative solutions that could help revive this cut, reaching out to our local representatives is crucial. Practicing medicine ultimately means prioritizing our patients’ health and well-being, and speaking out against policy decisions that could harm it is part of that mission. So, let’s take the initiative to contact our representatives and let them know that this is a no-go. By doing so, we can work to build a better future for our patients, ourselves, and future healthcare professionals as a whole.