AMGA Calls on CMS to Reverse Medicare Cuts
Conversion Factor Reduction Threatens Providers
Alexandria, VA – AMGA today urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) not to reduce physician payments next year. Given the ongoing Public Health Emergency (PHE), CMS should not finalize a decrease in the Medicare conversion factor. Instead, CMS should exercise its authority to waive the budget neutrality requirements to prevent a decrease in Medicare support for physicians, who are continuing to face significant challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“CMS should recognize the situation facing the provider community and adjust its proposals to reflect the impact of COVID-19,” said AMGA President and CEO Jerry Penso, M.D., M.B.A. “CMS moved quickly to provide flexibilities in a number of ways, such as expanding telehealth. And as helpful and as important as those flexibilities are, cutting the conversion factor will have a significant impact on the ability of medical groups to provide care to their communities.”
As part of its proposed rule for 2022, CMS is planning to reduce the physician fee schedule conversion factor by 3.75%, the same amount that Congress temporarily increased last year to help offset the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The effect of the change in the conversion factor will be compounded by the reimplementation of the 2% Medicare sequester cut, as well as a 4% cut due to Pay-As-You-Go rules that resulted from the enactment of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Taken together, providers are facing approximately 10% cuts to Medicare reimbursements after almost two years of battling the COVID-19 pandemic. CMS and Congress must act to reward providers, not penalize them.
AMGA appreciates that Congress must act to address the budget neutrality statutory constraints that CMS is facing. However, in an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS has broad authority to ensure Medicare meets the needs of beneficiaries. AMGA recommends that CMS take steps to prevent any disruption to the Medicare program by not implementing a cut to the conversion factor.
AMGA’s full letter can be found here.
AMGA is a trade association leading the transformation of health care in America. Representing multispecialty medical groups and integrated systems of care, we advocate, educate, innovate, and empower our members to deliver the next level of high performance health. AMGA is the national voice promoting awareness of our members’ recognized excellence in the delivery of coordinated, high quality, high-value care. More than 175,000 physicians practice in our member organizations, delivering care to one in three Americans. To learn more, visit amga.org.
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