FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2022
Contact: Grant Herring
Congress Fails To Address Clinical Labor Cuts, Leaving Patients and Providers Exposed
Omnibus excludes relief for office-based specialists
WASHINGTON, DC — Following yesterday’s release of the $1.7 trillion fiscal 2023 omnibus spending bill, the United Specialists for Patient Access (USPA) expressed deep dismay and concern relating to the failure of Congress to address ongoing clinical labor cuts.
These painful and unnecessary cuts, contained in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) for 2023 and set to take effect on January 1, will force the closure of specialists providing services to patients seeking cancer help, dialysis maintenance, limb salvage and amputation prevention, women seeking fibroid embolization to avoid unnecessary hysterectomies, seniors needing and relying on physical therapy and many others.
Many of these conditions disproportionately impact minority patients and the closure of these office-based specialty centers will exacerbate health equity, magnify the inequities, accelerate health system consolidation and health care expenses, reduce Medicare beneficiary access, and increase Medicare program costs and beneficiary copays.
Dr. Mark Garcia, USPA board member and CMO for American Vascular Associates states, “Despite the bleak data outlook and serious concerns from providers across the country, Congress made a regretful decision not to stop the ongoing clinical labor cuts. This was truly a missed opportunity for Congress to protect vulnerable patient populations, as well as the many physicians still struggling from the COVID aftermath while continuing to provide care during the pandemic and strengthen our health care system. We are disheartened by Washington’s failure to act because of the severe consequences it will have on patients and the specialty providers who treat them. Our health care system will never recover if this trend continues.”