Sep 15, 2021
Letter urges CMS to prevent up to 20% cuts by not finalizing the clinical labor policy in the 2022 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) proposed rule
Washington, D.C. –– The CardioVascular Coalition (CVC) – a coalition of physicians, care providers, advocates, and manufacturers working to improve awareness and prevention of peripheral artery disease (PAD) – today applauded 75 bipartisan lawmakers in the U.S. House for urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to address the severe proposed cuts included in the 2022 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) proposed rule.
In a letter submitted to CMS Deputy Administrator Dr. Meena Seshamani, 75 bipartisan lawmakers led by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), called on CMS to not finalize the clinical labor policy that would cause specialties—including cardiology, radiology and vascular surgery—to face serious cuts of up to 20% in 2022. The proposed cuts, which would be imposed as a direct result of CMS’ “budget neutrality” policy and come on top of years of successive cuts, would be devastating for both patients and providers. Unless CMS reverses course on its proposed clinical labor provision, the lawmakers warned that the severe cuts would accelerate health system consolidation, reduce competition, increase Medicare spending, and exacerbate healthcare inequities for patients of color. To prevent these issues and ensure patients’ access to care, the lawmakers urged CMS to work with Congress on fundamental reforms to the PFS.
In asking CMS to prevent the severe cuts, the lawmakers expressed particular concern on the proposed rule’s impact on minority health. According to the letter, the 2022 PFS proposed rule threatens to cut reimbursement to revascularization services by 22% despite the fact that Black and Latino Medicare beneficiaries are three times more likely and twice as likely, respectively, to receive an amputation due to peripheral artery disease.
“Given the strong correlation between ongoing cuts and reimbursement volatility for PFS providers vis-à-vis the health system consolidation trend, we believe the best characterization of the so-called PFS ‘budget neutrality’ provision is that it is a driver of PFS center closures and increased costs to the Medicare program,” the letter stated. The lawmakers went on to note that the cuts may cause “PFS providers who may no longer be able to sustain cuts in the 2022 PFS Proposed Rule to simply close their centers and continue the migration to large health systems.”
In order to address the severe proposed cuts, the lawmakers strongly recommended CMS not finalize the clinical labor policy in the 2022 PFS Final Rule. In addition, they urged CMS to work closely with Congress on reforming the PFS system in order to address a scheduled 3.75 percent cut to the conversion factor in 2022, which also threatens provider stability.
To read the text of the letter, CLICK HERE.
About the CardioVascular Coalition (CVC) Our Mission is to advance patient access to care for peripheral artery disease (PAD). Physicians, care providers, advocates, and manufacturers who comprise the CVC are dedicated to community-based solutions designed to improve awareness and prevention of PAD, reduce geographic disparities in access to care, and secure patient access to high-quality, cost-effective interventional treatment across America. Learn more at cardiovascularcoalition.org.