This new legislation introduced today will protect Medicare patients’ access to surgical care by mitigating some of the damaging cuts that are set to take effect in less than four weeks, according to the Surgical Care Coalition.
The bill, S.610, Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act, will mitigate the 2022 payment cuts. Without congressional action, physicians are facing a 9% cut, which would be devastating to patients, especially vulnerable seniors, amid the ongoing pandemic.
“Over the last two years, we’ve heard Congress call our physicians and non-physician providers ‘Health Care Heroes,’ and we’re grateful to the members of Congress who are standing up for doctors and patients” said American College of Surgeons Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS. “These are necessary legislative changes to protect patients, and we urge every member of Congress to recognize the need to mitigate these cuts before the end of the year. However, continuing to cut Medicare over time will only reduce access to care in the long-term, and when Congress returns in January, they must address the broken Medicare payment system with systemic changes to ensure surgeons can focus on what they do best – improving and saving lives.”
Twenty surgical groups sent a letter to Congressional Leaders today urging them to pass S.610 because it minimizes the Medicare cuts starting in January. In the letter, they asked Congress to use the relief provided from the bill to “consider solutions to the ongoing structural problems with Medicare’s broken payment system.”