SVS joins with AMA, Other Organizations in letter to Congress

Mar 16, 2023

The Society for Vascular Surgery joined with the American Medical Association (AMA) and 132 organizations – representing 900,000 physicians and tens of millions of Medicare patients – in a March 15 letter to congressional leaders, telling them that a full inflation-based update is “the principal legislative solution to the ongoing problems plaguing the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.”

In it, the organizations "urge Congress to provide physicians with much needed fiscal stability by passing legislation that provides an annual inflation-based payment update based on the full Medicare Economic Index (MEI)." They thanked Congress for stepping in to ameliorate threats to the payment system over the past few years, but said, "Unfortunately, even with these stopgap measures, physicians continue to see their Medicare payments decrease amidst record-setting inflation and rising practice costs, underscoring the need for permanent solutions."

The letter came on the same day as the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended Congress increase the 2024 Medicare payment rate above current law with an inflation-based payment update tied to the MEI. "However, we feel strongly that implementing an inflation-based update based on only half of the full MEI growth rate would be a missed opportunity to meaningfully address this perennial issue of Medicare physician underpayment that threatens stable access to care for millions of Medicare beneficiaries."

Read the full letter here.

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