Learn best-, worst-case and likely scenarios of upcoming planned cuts to Medicare

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Vascular surgeons face five different cuts

The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) will hold a Town Hall Nov. 10 to help members understand the upcoming planned federal cuts that would impact vascular surgery overall by more than -11%. Vascular surgeons are facing five different cuts as a result of the proposed 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

The first is the conversion factor; a 3.75% cut that Congress delayed last year. Secondly, when the federal budget deficit is increased over a five- or 10-year period, it triggers the Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, necessitating a 4% cut to Medicare. The third is a change to the global codes, which would pay some physicians more than others for evaluation and management, devaluing surgical care. The fourth cut is related to the CARES Act, which suspended the annual 2% cut to Medicare providers mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011; those cuts will resume in 2022. Finally, the proposed increase in clinical labor costs will reduce reimbursements for equipment and supplies. Because the Direct Practice Expense is a fixed pool of resources to comply with budget-neutrality requirements, this provision particularly harms specialties that perform high supply and equipment cost procedures in the office, such as vascular surgery.

While the projected impact on vascular surgery overall is -11.4%, members with office-based labs (OBLs) would bear a significantly higher burden with the cuts to specific services as high as -22%, according to an analysis by the SVS Medicare Cuts Task Force. The Town Hall will begin at 7 p.m. Central Standard Time. Register at vascular.org/TownHallCMSCuts.

Panelists are all part of the SVS Medicare Cuts Task Force, working diligently behind the scenes to reduce the impact on vascular surgery, but some cuts are expected to go through. The Town Hall will cover the gamut of outcomes: the best-case, worst-case and likely scenarios of the planned rules, what concerned physicians can do to help. There also will be time for panelists to answer members’ pressing questions.

Benjamin Pearce, MD, chair of the SVS Public and Professional Outreach Committee, will host the Town Hall, moderated by Matthew Sideman, MD, chair of the SVS Policy and Advocacy Council. Panelists include Sean Lyden, MD, Mark Mattos, MD, Daniel McDevitt, MD, and Megan Tracci, MD. Lyden, Mattos and Tracci are council members; McDevitt chairs the Executive Committee of the Community Practice Council.

To help organize the question-and-answer session, please submit questions for the panelists in advance at vascular.org/TownHallCMSCutsQuestions. For more information on the task force, visit vascular.org/MedicareTaskForce.

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