Over One Million Physicians and Other Clinicians Support Legislation To Ensure Patients Have Access to Critical Services

Over One Million Physicians and Other Clinicians Support Legislation To Ensure Patients Have Access to Critical Services

WASHINGTON, October 4th, 2022 – The members of the Surgical Care Coalition joined more than 100 medical organizations representing more than one million health care professionals in signing a letter supporting H.R. 8800, the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022. Sponsored by Representatives Ami Bera, MD (D-Calif.) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-Ind.), H.R. 8800 addresses the nearly 4.5% cut to the Medicare conversion factor (CF) anticipated to take effect on January 1, 2023. In the letter, the groups state that H.R. 8800 is “an essential step toward providing clinicians with financial stability and ensuring patients have access to critical services our members provide.”

“The coalition is proud to stand with our colleagues across the clinician community in supporting H.R. 8800 and will work with Congress to ensure the legislation is enacted by the end of the year,” said Patricia Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, American College of Surgeons Executive Director. “As surgical care for our most vulnerable seniors continues to be threatened year after year, there is still more for Congress to do to protect seniors nationwide and advance the long-term Medicare payment reform necessary to ensure stability of the system.”

Without congressional action, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other physicians face a nearly 8.5% Medicare cut, which includes the nearly 4.5% cut to the Medicare CF and a 4% Medicare cut stemming from the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) Act. This is on top of the 2% Medicare sequestration cuts that were reinstated this year and the staggering increases in medical inflation that health care providers across the country are facing.

Moreover, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has failed to increase the global surgery codes to reflect increased evaluation and management (E/M) service values implemented in 2021, resulting in additional cuts to surgical care. In this regard, the surgical societies also echoed the sentiments of Reps. Bera and Bucshon, who recently sent a letter to CMS calling on the agency to apply the updated E/M values to the global surgery codes. In the letter, the congressmen stressed that adjusting these values is necessary “to ensure that these physicians are compensated the same for providing equivalent services as defined by the Medicare statute.”

“Each time CMS has revised the office visit E/M codes, the agency has also increased the post-operative E/M values in the global surgery codes,” Dr. Turner noted. “Failing to make these adjustments amounts to an arbitrary, across-the-board devaluation of surgical care and is one more challenge surgeons are facing during an already difficult time.”

Read the H.R. 8800 endorsement letter from one million healthcare professionals and Reps. Bera and Bucshon’s letter to CMS.

Read an additional H.R. 8800 endorsement letter from surgical organizations.