The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a 3.4% cut in Medicare physician payment in the 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule released Nov. 2. These cuts are a result of efforts to increase payments for primary care.
Following the release of the final rule, the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) led a coalition of physician and non-physician groups in a communication to congressional leadership urging Congress to stop the full 3.4% cut.
The coalition explained to lawmakers that increases to primary care are being paid for by an across-the-board cut to all clinicians and that these cuts jeopardize the goal of continuing to provide Medicare beneficiaries access to the full range of essential primary and specialty healthcare services. The coalition also highlighted that, in addition to the scheduled cuts from Medicare, clinicians expect practice costs to increase 4.6% in 2024, as measured by the Medicare economic index.
Shortly after, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance released — and voted in favor of — draft legislation (the Better Mental Health Care, Lower-Cost Drugs, and Extenders Act) that included a 1.25% increase to the 2024 Medicare physician payment conversion factor (CF). ACR appreciates the committee’s inclusion of a 1.25% increase but contends more must be done to reduce and/or eliminate the scheduled payment cuts.
Because it is still uncertain if any provisions addressing physician payment will be included in a year-end package passed by Congress, ACR will continue to work with its provider colleagues to stop the cuts before Congress adjourns.
ACR members must take action and contact their lawmakers to protect patient access to care by voting to stop the entire 3.4% Medicare pay cut.
For more information, contact Rebecca Spangler, ACR Senior Government Affairs Director.