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 commended Congressmen Bobby Rush (D-IL), Danny Davis (D-IL), Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and 22 of their colleagues in the Congressional Tri-Caucus for sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging the inclusion of language in the end-of-the-year legislative package to direct the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to not proceed with the implementation of the clinical labor update in the 2022 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). The main driver of payment cuts in the 2022 PFS Final Rule are updates to clinical labor data which hit cardiology, vascular surgery, venous, radiation oncology and radiology practices hardest.
“It is clear that any benefits of proceeding with the clinical labor policy at this time are far outweighed by the significantly negative impacts on PFS specialists, which will exacerbate health inequity, drive further health system consolidation, and undermine specialty care. In short, these cuts will harm our nation’s most vulnerable patients and should not be allowed to be implemented,” the lawmakers wrote.
The lawmakers warn that the clinical labor reimbursement cuts of more than 20% to office-based services disproportionately impact minority populations, including seniors diagnosed with peripheral artery disease (PAD) who are at risk for amputation if left untreated. In fact, data show among Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with PAD, Black patients are three times more likely to receive an amputation and Latino patients are twice as likely. Without access to revascularization services to treat PAD in a less expensive site that is closer to home, patients are at serious risk of limb loss.
“The CardioVascular Coalition applauds Tri-Caucus leaders – including Congressmen Rush, Davis and Cardenas – for leading this effort, and we strongly support the Medicare Stability for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 6048) as a legislative solution to prevent implementation of the clinical labor cuts on January 1,” said Jeffrey G. Carr, MD, FACC, CVC member and co-founder of the Outpatient Endovascular and Interventional Society (OEIS). “Drastically slashing reimbursements for specialty services most needed by Americans of color would significantly stifle efforts to improve health equity across America. To help protect patient access to these vital services, Congress must act.”
To read the Tri-Caucus letter to Speaker Pelosi, 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.