'Being mad isn't enough': Physicians urge Medicare pay reform 

Physicians called for an overhaul of the Medicare payment system at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, citing risks in patient access and practice survival 

"This cannot wait; we are past the breaking point," AMA President Jack Resneck, MD, said in a June 12 news release from the organization. "Congress must urgently address physician concerns about Medicare to account for inflation and the post-pandemic economic reality facing practices nationwide. … Being mad isn't enough. We will develop a campaign — targeted and grassroots — that will drive home our message."

Physicians have struggled to meet margins in the face of inflation, COVID-19 and growing practice costs, according to the release. Additionally, physicians saw a 2 percent pay cut for 2023 — the only Medicare providers without an inflationary pay update. 

According to the AMA, Medicare physician payments have declined 26 percent from 2001 to 2023 when adjusted for inflation. These cuts particularly hurt "small, independent and rural physician practices, as well as those treating low-income or other historically minoritized or marginalized patient communities," the release said. 

"We are deeply worried that many practices will be forced to stop taking new Medicare patients — at a time when access to care is already inadequate," Dr. Resneck said. "Physicians have diagnosed the problem and are offering solutions, but obviously the body politic must respond."

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Podcast