50 Bipartisan Senators want Congress to Stop Medicare Cuts

50 Bipartisan Senators Want Congress to Stop Medicare Cuts

Senators recognize time is running out to protect patients by reversing CMS’s devastating cuts

WASHINGTON, December 7, 2020 – 50 Senators sent a letter  to leadership urging them to stop the impending Medicare payment cuts that will take effect in less than a month. Momentum in Congress is building as more senators and representatives recognize that holding providers harmless during a pandemic is the right thing to do as America continues to battle COVID-19.

The Surgical Care Coalition issued the following statement in response, which is attributed to David Hoyt, MD, FACS, Executive Director of the American College of Surgeons:

“While the country is dealing with the worst of COVID-19, CMS has set in motion a policy that will further strain the health care system. It is irresponsible to cut health care spending in the middle of the pandemic, and these cuts will hurt patients by limiting their access to quality care. We thank the senators for their leadership, and we pledge to work with Congress and all interested parties to work toward finding a solution that will protect patients by stopping these devastating cuts.”

The letter can be viewed here.

Additional Background

  • The Surgical Care Coalition believes the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule finalized by CMS in December will jeopardize patient care by reducing access to care. This is ill-advised during a global pandemic given its already forced patients to delay routine medical care.
  • The cuts are set to take effect on January 1, 2021, meaning Congress has only 24 days to stop these cuts.
  • The rule will cut payments for surgical care by up to 9 percent depending on the specialty, and further reduces the conversion factor – which is the basic starting point for calculating Medicare payments – by 11 percent. This is the lowest rate in 25 years.
  • A recent survey found that doctors will have to make tough choices on patient intake and staffing; one-third of doctors say they may reduce patient intake, and the vast majority of those who don’t plan to alter patient intake will likely have to reduce time with patients, hire fewer nurses, or stop investments in surgical technology.

About the Surgical Care Coalition

The Surgical Care Coalition advocates for access to quality surgical care for all Americans. The Surgical Care Coalition is comprised of 12 surgical professional associations that proudly represent more than 150,000 surgeons working across the country with a common goal of improving the quality of care, and quality of life, for all patients. The founding members have worked together for nearly three decades to promote sound policy solutions to the U.S. Congress and federal regulatory agencies to solve the biggest challenges in health care.

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