AdvaMed Leads Medtech Industry in Opposing Medicare Cuts Impacting Patient Access to Specialty Care
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, AdvaMed, the Medtech Association, sent a letter to Congressional leaders regarding the proposed payment cuts to office-based specialist physicians under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. AdvaMed was joined on the letter to Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Senate Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker McCarthy, and House Minority Leader Jeffries by the Medical Device Manufacturers Association and the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance.
In the letter, the groups said, “While the need for overall PFS reform rightfully has received significant attention in recent years, the disproportionate, negative impact on office-based specialty care has not. Office-based specialist physicians provide critical care in rural and underserved locations in the areas of cancer, dialysis access, limb salvage, fibroid embolization, pain management, urology, and a host of other conditions. Certain office-based specialties have been cut by 10-50% since 2006, and this does not even consider policy concerns surrounding the lack of an inflation update for the PFS overall. The most recent office-based specialty cuts (so-called “clinical labor policy” cuts stemming from the 2022 PFS) currently are being phased in through 2025 and continue to cause terrible damage to the ability of office-based specialists to provide badly needed care.”
The letter went on to urge Congressional leaders to bring the bipartisan H.R. 3674, the Providing Relief and Stability for Medicare Patients Act of 2023, up for a vote to address near-term payment cuts by providing two years of targeted relief for specialty care practices. In the long term, AdvaMed continues to encourage policymakers and lawmakers to address the fundamental asymmetry in the PFS that negatively impacts office-based specialty providers.
According to a February 2023 survey of the economic and practice effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and decreased Medicare physician payments on outpatient vascular interventional procedures found:
- 87% of respondents “believe Medicare cuts have a moderate or greater impact on the practice,”
- 53% of respondents “believe the likelihood of the practice’s success is unlikely,”
- 22% of respondents “are likely to become a hospital employee if cuts continue,”
- 21% of respondents “are likely to sell their practice if cuts continue,”
- 17% of respondents “are likely to retire if cuts continue,” and
- 8% of respondents “retired, sold, or closed their practice from 2021 to 2022.”
Earlier this year, the United Specialists for Patient Access, an AdvaMed partner, joined a coalition of national medical societies, representing a broad range of physicians and health professionals to send a letter to Congressional leaders endorsing H.R. 3674 and urging support for the bipartisan legislation.
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AdvaMed member companies produce the medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems that are transforming health care through earlier disease detection, less invasive procedures and more effective treatments. AdvaMed members range from the largest to the smallest medical technology innovators and companies. For more information, visit www.advamed.org.