Joint Letter on Recent Medicare Physician Payment Cuts

Dear Speaker Johnson, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, and Leader Jeffries:

The undersigned national medical organizations and state medical societies write to strongly urge Congress to quickly pass legislation to reverse the 3.37 percent Medicare physician payment cuts that took effect on January 1, 2024.

Failure to reverse these cuts will be harmful to the continued viability of physician practices and their ability to care for patients. After three consecutive years of cuts to Medicare services, physicians are at a potential breaking point. Facing a nearly 10 percent reduction in Medicare payments over the past four years and rising practice costs on top of the burdens and burnout associated with the pandemic, some practices are already limiting the number of Medicare patients they treat. We anticipate these cuts will be felt hardest by small, independent practices, like those in rural and underserved areas that continue to face significant health care access challenges. Continuing down this path is simply unsustainable.

We appreciate efforts by members of the House and Senate to preserve Medicare patients’ access to physician services through introduced legislation that stops these impending cuts, hearings on the flawed Medicare payment system, and Dear Colleague letters urging Congress expeditiously pass bills halting the reductions. We call on Congress to eliminate these cuts in full by increasing the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Conversion Factor retroactive to January 1, 2024, by the appropriations deadline. This is our top legislative priority. Physicians are the only Medicare providers that did not receive an inflation update this year. In fact, they are the only Medicare providers who have a payment cut in 2024.

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