Sep 11, 2023
The pandemic exposed many of the cracks in our health system, and while the immediate threat of COVID-19 has subsided, our healthcare system still faces serious challenges. One of the biggest challenges right now that many Americans aren’t aware of is the ongoing cuts to Medicare reimbursements for office-based providers. These cuts are driving further consolidation of the American healthcare system, as specialists are bought up by big hospital systems or forced out of business altogether. This has serious ramifications for patients, especially those in rural and underserved areas.
For patients with serious diseases like peripheral artery disease, coronary artery disease, end-stage renal disease, these obstacles in receiving timely and quality care can be deadly. While healthcare providers in office-based settings are best positioned to reach and treat these high-risk patients, they are going out of business due to dwindling Medicare reimbursements. Office-based providers not only provide higher level care – they also save taxpayer money because if there are no office-based options the treatment will take place at a hospital which is far more costly.
Right now Congress has the opportunity to protect vulnerable patients by passing H.R. 3674, the "Providing Relief and Stability for Medicare Patients Act of 2023." This bipartisan bill will stop the year after year cuts to office-based specialists we’ve seen over the last two years. The bill also addresses insufficient Medicare physician payments, preventing specialists from going out of business and leaving patients without care.
This legislation is a win-win, cutting unnecessary taxpayer spending on high-priced hospital care and ensuring patients can receive high-quality and timely care in office-based settings. Congress must act quickly – patients are counting on them.
Interventional Cardiologist and Endovascular Specialist Jeffrey G. Carr, MD, a CVC Board member