FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2023
Contact: Grant Herring
USPA Backs The Providing Relief and Stability for Medicare Patients Act of 2023
The USPA supports bipartisan H.R. 3674
New whitepaper highlights the critical need for Medicare payment reform and its impact on office-based specialty and ambulatory care
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the United Specialists for Patient Access (USPA) endorsed the Providing Relief and Stability for Medicare Patients Act of 2023 (H.R. 3674), introduced by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12), Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29), Rep. Greg Murphy, MD (R-NC-3), and Rep. Danny Davis (IL-D-7).
This bipartisan legislation aims to stop ongoing cuts to office-based specialists for the next two years. By doing so, it helps prevent major disruptions in patient access to care while addressing concerns about the future of Medicare physician payments.
USPA joined a large coalition of national medical societies, representing a broad range of physicians and health professionals in signing on to a letter of support for the new legislation to the primary co-sponsors.
The letter says, in part, “The office setting is also critical for patient access (especially in rural and underserved areas) and can result in patients receiving care in a timelier manner. Unfortunately, the prolonged instability within the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS)—driven by a confluence of fiscal uncertainties physician practices face related to statutory payment cuts, perennial lack of inflationary updates, significant administrative barriers, and the cumulative impact of the pandemic—is jeopardizing the financial viability of many community, office-based, physician practices.”
The letter goes on to say, “Medicare is incentivizing market consolidation. We are concerned that the ongoing severity of these cuts, combined with additional payment adjustments anticipated in the forthcoming CY2024 PFS, will result in a breaking point for many physicians. Absent additional Congressional intervention via passage of H.R. 3674, the likely result will be more providers leaving the field (either through retirement or career adjustment), more practices being closed or sold, and a significant number of patients losing access to a variety of healthcare services in their communities.”
Dr. Mark Garcia, USPA board member and CMO for American Vascular Associates, said:
“USPA applauds this legislation because it will mean creating some stability for office-based providers who have suffered significant reimbursement cuts over the past several years. This bipartisan legislation will help curtail the current health care consolidation trend and protect outpatient access to quality care across the United States. Congress must act swiftly to help community based providers keep their doors open and eliminate the uncertainty facing patients and their doctors.”
Whitepaper & Letter to MedPAC
The United Specialists for Patient Access (USPA) partnered with The Moran Company to produce a whitepaper regarding the value of office-based specialty care.
Office-based specialty care includes a wide range of services, including services to treat cancer patients, dialysis patients, women with fibroids, patients in need of limb salvage procedures and a host of other critical interventions. These services are being jeopardized by ongoing cuts to office-based specialists.
In February, USPA sent a letter to MedPAC laying out evidence that MPFS rebalancing has resulted in large reimbursement cuts for specialists under the MPFS and, in particular, that office-based specialists have borne the brunt of these reimbursement reductions. You can read the letter here.