Take Action: Tell Federal Lawmakers to Stop Medicare Payment Cuts
By David Doolittle

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The Texas Medical Association needs your help in protecting physician Medicare payments that are scheduled to be cut starting Jan. 1.

TMA urges you to tell your federal lawmakers to support HR 8702, also known as the “Holding Providers Harmless from Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act,” which would freeze Medicare Part B payments at 2020 rates for two years.

If passed into law, the bill, introduced by two physician lawmakers in late October, provides payment stability for physicians and practices, many of whom have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the 2021 physician fee schedule and as required by law, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) cut the conversion factor used to determine Medicare physician payments by about 10%.

CMS said the cut was partially a result of adjusting for “significant increases” for evaluation and management code visits – which was necessary because of Congressionally required budget-neutrality rules, the agency said.

During the fee schedule proposal comment period, TMA urged CMS to “work with Congress to stop penalizing doctors with the current budget-neutral methodology.”

In a letter Dec. 4, TMA urged U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, both Texas Republicans, to support efforts to prevent cuts to Medicare physician payments and to include these provisions in upcoming end-of-year legislation.

“Unfortunately, physicians continue to reel from the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency as they continue to serve patients during this global pandemic,” the letter said. “The payment cuts finalized by CMS pose a threat to patients and physicians.”

Take one minute and use the TMA Grassroots Action Center to send your lawmakers a quick and easy email urging them to protect Medicare physician payments by supporting support HR 8702.

Last Updated On

December 10, 2020

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David Doolittle

Editor

(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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