SVS task force continues fight to stop cuts

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Matthew Sideman

The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) Medicare Cuts Task Force is continuing its work to stop the proposed cuts in physician reimbursement from going through as planned in 2022.

The task force was created to respond to the proposed 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, which poses “a real threat of harm to vascular surgery practices and patients. The projected cut to vascular surgery overall is -11.4%, but OBLs [office-based labs] bear a significantly higher burden with the cuts to specific services as high as -22%,” task force members said. What the task force already has completed:

  • Submitted the Society’s official comment letter (view it at vascular.org/CMS22Comment), which includes SVS’ data-driven analysis, not only of what SVS opposes in the proposed fee schedule, but also how to move forward
  • Encouraged members to write their own letters about the effects of the proposed cuts to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), with letters sent from more than 180 SVS members
  • As part of a Surgical Care Coalition effort, urged members to send emails to their federal lawmakers to fight the cuts that threaten access to surgical care
  • Worked with other societies to write a letter to CMS on the effect of the cuts to patients’ access to healthcare. Visit vascular.org/JointCMSLetter to read it
  • Task Force leaders call the proposed cuts “a complex issue with many components to be addressed and many participants involved.” The next step is work on Congressional messaging and request meetings with lawmakers and administrators.

“The Society is committed to addressing all components as a united front, and we will continue to need member action and support every step of the way. We are proud of the way our specialty is coming together as one to stand up for vascular surgery,” said Matthew Sideman, MD, of the Advocacy and Policy Council, who co-chairs the task force.

Work will continue, he said, but in the meantime, he urged members to donate to the SVS Political Action Committee. “It is the only PAC dedicated to serving the interests of vascular surgeons and their patients.”

William Shutze, MD, of the Clinical Practice Council, is the other co-chair of the task force, and Margaret Tracci, MD, (Advocacy and Policy Council) and Daniel McDevitt, MD, (Clinical Practice Council) are vice co-chairs. Learn more about the Task Force at vascular.org/MedicareTaskForce.

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