With just days remaining until the latest Medicare physician pay cut takes effect, the Texas Medical Association has been lobbying for an eleventh-hour act of Congress to stop it.
In a March 17 letter to all Texas members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, TMA urged Congress to delay the 1% reduction, which is scheduled to take effect April 1 and would last through June 30. Then, on July 1, an additional, permanent 2% cut would go into effect.
That 2% reduction represents the Medicare sequester, which TMA advocacy helped stave off in December 2021 as part of a grassroots effort that stopped nearly the entirety of what would have been a 9.75% cut in 2022.
The sequester has been delayed several times both before and during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). In its latest letter, TMA requested that Congress once again delay that payment reduction – the whole 2% – until at least the end of the PHE, given that “financial margins of physician practices remain lean.”
In addition, resuming Medicare sequester cuts on April 1 “will needlessly threaten Medicare beneficiaries’ access to care,” wrote TMA President E. Linda Villarreal, MD. She also expressed TMA’s alarm with “the growing instability of the Medicare physician payment system” and urged Congress to establish a reliable, annual physician payment update that keeps up with practice costs and inflation.
Correction: This story has been updated to state that the 2% cut taking effect on July 1 would be in addition to the 1% cut that was scheduled to take effect April 1.
Last Updated On
April 08, 2022
Originally Published On
March 29, 2022