On January 1, 2022, a combination of severe proposed cuts to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) will take effect. With physician practices still confronting financial and emotional strains due to the COVID-19 health emergency, they can ill-afford to bear additional uncertainty within the Medicare payment system. Now isn’t the time to present an already vulnerable senior population with even more impediments to quality health care.
The reductions to Medicare physician payments beginning in 2022 include:
- A 2% Medicare sequester created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 was paused in light of the pandemic, but this reprieve expires at the end of 2021 and the sequester is now expected to continue into 2031;
- 4% Statutory PAYGO sequester as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that becomes effective in 2022; and,
- Expiration of the congressionally enacted 3.75% increase in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) conversion factor that was temporarily implemented to tackle increased costs derived from the public health emergency and avoid those payment cuts associated with budget neutrality adjustments resulting from Medicare policy changes.
On their own, each of these cuts would devastate already-stressed physician practices. Together, these reductions totaling 9.75% as the county battles a still unresolved COVID-19 pandemic whose resurgence is overwhelming the medical community. Congress must provide a legislative solution, but time is running out.
to please contact your lawmakers and request that they take immediate action on behalf of a medical community that has boldly sacrificed and supported the nation throughout such extraordinary circumstances.