Jun 9, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the CardioVascular Coalition (CVC) is proud to announce their support for the Providing Relief and Stability for Medicare Patients Act of 2023 (H.R. 3674), introduced by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12), Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29), Rep. Greg Murphy, MD (R-NC-3), and Rep. Danny Davis (IL-D-7).
This bipartisan legislation will prevent ongoing cuts to office-based specialists for the next two years. By doing so, it helps stop major disruptions for patients with PAD and CAD.
The CVC joined a large coalition of national medical societies, representing a broad range of physicians, and health professionals in signing on to a letter of support for the new legislation to the primary co-sponsors.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LETTER.
The letter says, in part, “The office setting is also critical for patient access (especially in rural and underserved areas) and can result in patients receiving care in a timelier manner. Unfortunately, the prolonged instability within the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS)—driven by a confluence of fiscal uncertainties physician practices face related to statutory payment cuts, perennial lack of inflationary updates, significant administrative barriers, and the cumulative impact of the pandemic—is jeopardizing the financial viability of many community, office-based, physician practices.”
The letter goes on to say, “Medicare is incentivizing market consolidation. We are concerned that the ongoing severity of these cuts, combined with additional payment adjustments anticipated in the forthcoming CY2024 PFS, will result in a breaking point for many physicians. Absent additional Congressional intervention via passage of H.R. 3674, the likely result will be more providers leaving the field (either through retirement or career adjustment), more practices being closed or sold, and a significant number of patients losing access to a variety of healthcare services in their communities.”
Jeffrey G. Carr, MD, an Interventional Cardiologist, Endovascular Specialist, and CVC Board member, stated:“Office-based specialists play an essential role in our healthcare system. Without their care, patients are left with fewer options and, unfortunately, less specialized care that too often leads to avoidable, but grave consequences, like amputation. This new legislation would protect access to the quality care our nation needs. I know first hand what a struggle it is to stay in business when the reimbursement rates are so low because my group recently had to sell our practice to a local hospital.”
Whitepaper & Letter to MedPAC
CVC’s position is supported by a new white paper that outlines the value of office-based specialty care and reversing the healthcare consolidation trend. This whitepaper was created in partnership between The United Specialists for Patient Access (USPA) and The Moran Company.
Office-based specialty care includes a wide range of services, including services to treat cancer patients, dialysis patients, women with fibroids, patients in need of limb salvage procedures and a host of other critical interventions. These services are being jeopardized by ongoing cuts to office-based specialists.
In February, USPA sent a letter to MedPAC laying out evidence that MPFS rebalancing has resulted in large reimbursement cuts for specialists under the MPFS and, in particular, that office-based specialists have borne the brunt of these reimbursement reductions. You can read the letter here.