SEP 22, 2022
Academy Supports New Bill to Address Physician Payment
Ophthalmology champions Reps. Ami Bera, MD, D-Calif., and Larry Bucshon, MD, R-Ind., have introduced legislation to avert cuts to Medicare physician payment by providing a one-year 4.42% boost to the conversion factor for 2023.
The bill introduced last week is called the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 (PDF). It addresses a devastating cut to the Medicare conversion factor included in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule.
The legislation would immediately help stabilize Medicare payments and preserve access to surgical care. Additionally, the bill includes language calling on Congress and the administration to address the long-term financial stability of physician payment. The introduction coincided with the Surgical Care Coalition's advocacy fly-in, when Academy leadership joined other physicians in meetings with congressional lawmakers asking for payment reform.
Coalition members urged lawmakers to act before the end of the year to pass legislation that:
- Stops the proposed nearly 4.5% cut to the Medicare physician fee schedule conversion factor — a critical element for calculating payments
- Waives the looming 4% statutory pay-as-you-go requirement
- Includes a one-year payment increase to account for inflation
The Academy expects separate legislation to be introduced in the coming weeks to tackle the rise in cost-of-living expenses due to inflation.
We also expect a companion bill to the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 to be introduced in the Senate and will update our members when the language is released.
You can urge your representatives and senators to support these reforms using the Academy’s advocacy tool.