CVC says MPFS cuts make PAD worse and increase amputation rates
Washington, D.C. – Today, the CardioVascular Coalition (CVC) – a coalition of physicians, care providers, advocates, and manufacturers working to improve awareness and prevention of peripheral artery disease (PAD) — is again calling on Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to address the significant cuts to revascularization services in the proposed 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Rule. During PAD Awareness Month, which began on September 1, the CVC hopes to draw attention not only to PAD, and its treatment and prevention, but also to how these cuts will undercut patient access, lead to higher amputation rates, and exacerbate health inequities that already exist.
PAD Awareness Month is a time to reflect on the nearly 20 million Americans impacted by PAD, including an estimated 200,000 individuals who suffer preventable amputations every year due to complications from the chronic disease. Research shows that as many as 85% of amputations could be prevented with access to early diagnostics and appropriate treatment.
If finalized as written, the proposed MPFS would impose cuts of 5%-9% in 2023 on physicians in the outpatient setting who provide revascularization services to these patients and are critical in preventing avoidable amputations. These cuts, on top of the long history of MPFS cuts over the last several years, including clinical labor cuts exceeding 20% in 2022, will continue to increase financial pressures on providers at a time of historic economic uncertainty. This could, in turn, force providers to close their doors, reduce services, and, therefore, deprive PAD patients of care in the outpatient settings they prefer and statistically have better outcomes.
“As we recognize PAD Awareness Month and the major impact that peripheral artery disease has on Americans – particularly people of color – I’m deeply worried about how these proposed cuts would increase instability and further limit patient access to revascularization services that are proven to prevent amputation and reduce costs,” said Interventional Cardiologist and Endovascular Specialist Jeffrey G. Carr, MD, a CVC Board member. “At a time when America is suffering a PAD and amputation crisis, we need to be prioritizing patients, ensuring they have access to the services that are proven to prevent amputations and slow disease progression. Congress and CMS need to act to address these proposed cuts to help providers and stop the spread of health inequity in our country.”