Last night, the Senate passed legislation to halt Medicare physician payment cuts that were scheduled to take effect on January 1. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law.
Highlights of the physician payment provisions include a delay in resuming the 2% Medicare sequester for three months (Jan. 1–March 31, 2022), followed by a reduction to 1% for three months (April 1–June 30, 2022); a one-year increase over the final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Conversion Factor of 3% (0.75% less than the conversion factor “patch” provided for 2021); a one-year delay in the cuts to the clinical lab fee schedule; and a one-year delay in the Medicare radiation oncology demonstration
Additionally, the bill will erase the 4% Medicare PAY-GO cut and prevent any additional PAY-GO cuts through 2022. The SVS Medicare Cuts Task Force has been working to educate legislators and regulators, meeting with members of Congress, writing daily letters, growing the PAC, and more to help fight the cuts.
Matthew Sideman, MD, chair of the SVS Medicare Cuts Task Force said, “Thank you to the many SVS members who wrote, called, and donated to the PAC. Your efforts were essential. Congress doesn’t always move quickly, but yesterday they took a big step in the right direction of remedying the cuts and preserving patient access to care.”“There is still a lot of work to be done to reach a permanent solution. The care that vascular surgeons provide is valuable, life-saving work, and we will not rest until our healthcare system recognizes that value with real, long-term solutions to reimbursement.” The SVS CMS Cuts Task Force plans to continue its mission into the new year, working towards ending automatic cuts and establishing a systematic solution that recognizes the incredible value of vascular care in all settings.