If finalized, the proposed 5-9% cuts will undercut access to revascularization services, which are critical to preventing avoidable amputations—especially among communities of color
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 expressed serious concern over proposed cuts included in the 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Proposed Rule released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). If finalized as written, the proposed MPFS would levy significant cuts of 5-9% in 2023 on physicians in the outpatient setting who provide revascularization services, which are crucial to preventing avoidable amputations for people suffering from peripheral artery disease (PAD).
The proposed reduction in reimbursement rates is the latest in a troubling trend. There has been a long history of MPFS cuts over the last several years, including clinical labor cuts exceeding 20% in 2022, which have increased financial pressures on providers at a time of historic economic uncertainty. Many providers worry that increased cuts could force them to close their doors or reduce services, which would deprive PAD patients of the care they need in the outpatient setting they prefer, particularly in rural and underserved communities.
“Facing rising inflation, increasing wages, higher costs, and growing demand for healthcare, and other challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 5-9% cuts proposed by CMS would increase instability and threaten to undercut patient access to the revascularization services that are proven to prevent amputation and reduce costs. As a result of reduced access, providers fear that fewer Americans will be able to receive the care they need to prevent PAD-related amputations, which disproportionately impact Black, Native, and Hispanic Americans,” said Interventional Cardiologist and Endovascular Specialist Jeffrey G. Carr, MD, a CVC Board member.
Ensuring access to revascularization services in the patient-preferred community setting is critical. An estimated 20 million Americans are living with PAD, and, approximately 200,000 non-traumatic amputations are performed on people with PAD. Research shows that as many as 85% of amputations could be prevented with access to early diagnostics and appropriate treatment.
If cuts like the ones proposed in the 2023 MPFS proposed rule are ultimately implemented, they will undercut patient access, lead to higher amputation rates and exacerbate inequities that already exist, particularly in America’s communities of color. According to the Dartmouth Atlas, amputation risks for African Americans living with diabetes are as much as four times higher than the national average. Data analyses have similarly found that Native Americans are more than twice as likely to be subjected to amputation and Hispanics are up to 75 percent more likely to have an amputation.
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.