The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) outlined recommendations for the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding Medicare payment topics its March Report to Congress.
In its report, MedPAC — an independent congressional agency created to advise Congress about issues affecting the Medicare program — provides updates on national trends in spending, assessments of payment adequacy and the Medicare Advantage program. The commission addressed physician and other health professional services in the report; while it believes beneficiary access to care remains strong, MedPAC recognized that clinicians’ input costs grew at a very high rate and are expected to continue to grow in 2023 into 2024. Therefore, the commission recommended a Medicare Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor update of 1.45% for 2024. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, provides a temporary update of 1.25% for 2024, however MedPAC believes that this should be increased slightly and the 1.45% update should be made permanent rather than expire after 2024.
MedPAC also recommended Congress update the 2023 Medicare base payment rates for general acute care hospitals by the amount specified in current law (to be finalized in summer 2023), plus 1%.
To further support Medicare safety-net hospitals, the commission recommends Congress begin a transition to redistribute disproportionate share hospital and uncompensated care payments through the Medicare Safety-Net Index (MSNI), adding $2 billion to the MSNI pool.
The American College of Radiology®(ACR®) developed a summary of the radiology-relevant topics included in the report.
For more information or if you have questions, contact Katie Keysor, ACR Senior Director, Economic Policy, Christina Berry, ACR Team Lead, Economic Policy, or Kimberly Greck, Senior ACR Economic Policy Analyst.