229 bipartisan lawmakers join growing chorus of leaders opposing Medicare specialty cuts
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) – applauded a bipartisan letter signed by 229 Congressional lawmakers – led by Reps. Larry Bucshon, MD (IN-8) and Ami Bera (CA-7) – urging House leadership to take action to prevent or mitigate significant provider payment cuts included in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Proposed Rule for 2021.
“Over the past eight months, specialty providers have grappled with historic operational and financial challenges, which have made it increasingly difficult to remain sustainable,” said Jeffrey Carr, MD, a CVC member. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into next year, saddling already beleaguered providers with steep payment cuts will only serve to destabilize America’s healthcare marketplace and undermine patient access to critical care services.”
Issued on August 3rd, the PFS Proposed Rule for CY2021 would impose deep payment cuts to 33 specialty providers – including “vascular surgery,” “cardiac surgery,” and “interventional radiology” – in 2021. Specifically, Medicare plans to cut “vascular surgery” by seven percent (-7%), “cardiac surgery,” by nine percent (-9%) and “interventional radiology” by nine percent (-9%).
As the letter notes, “specialists now face substantial cuts beginning on January 1, 2021, if Congress does not act before the end of the year. Payment cuts of this magnitude will surely strain a health care system that is already stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic and could jeopardize patient access to medically necessary services.”
“We commend these lawmakers for fighting on behalf of specialty care providers and the patients they serve,” Carr concluded. “We urge House leadership to take immediate action to protect this critical pillar of America’s healthcare infrastructure.”
To read the Bucshon-Bera letter, CLICK HERE.