Last week, the AMA House of Delegates declared Medicare physician payment reform an urgent advocacy and legislative priority for the AMA. The House of Delegates also modified existing policy to implement a comprehensive advocacy campaign to achieve the enactment of reforms to the Medicare physician payment system consistent with AMA policy.
The AMA, in collaboration with 120 other physician and healthcare organizations including the KMA, has outlined the Characteristics of a Rational Medicare Payment System, which include an annual inflationary update for physicians that can put the nation’s healthcare system on sustainable financial ground. Additionally, these reforms would:
- Ensure financial stability and predictability
- Promote value-based care
- Safeguard access to high-quality care
Temporary fixes and ongoing cuts to the Medicare physician payment system are not sustainable. When adjusted for inflation, Medicare physician payment has effectively declined 26% from 2001 to 2023. Without long-term reform, physician practices could be forced to close their doors leaving Medicare patients without access to high-quality care.
Bipartisan legislation has been proposed in H.R. 2474, the Strengthening Medicare Patients and Providers Act, that would provide annual inflationary updates, based on the Medicare Economic Index (MEI), for Medicare physician services, similar to updates received by other healthcare providers.
Join the fight to fix Medicare now by contacting your lawmakers and urging them to support H.R. 2474, an important first step in the fight to fix Medicare.
To learn more about the broken physician payment system and what Congress can do to fix it, visit fixmedicarenow.org.