October 13, 2023

MedPAC Commissioners Discuss Need for Medicare Payment Reform

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) held a robust discussion on payment reform during its October meeting. This session touched on several policy points: the impact of inflation, growth in volume and intensity of clinician services, variation in site of service payments, overvaluation of services, and the incentives to participate in advanced alternative payment models.

Commissioners were presented with factors to consider when they decide if reforms are needed in the method used to annually update Medicare payment rates under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). The commission in recent years largely determined that Medicare’s payment rates under the PFS are adequate to ensure Medicare beneficiaries have access to services. MedPAC staff shared, though, that during times of higher inflation, concerns increase that applying the updates specified in the Medicare Access and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 could negatively affect beneficiaries’ access to care.

MedPAC is an independent congressional agency created to advise Congress about issues affecting the Medicare program. Payment reform will continue to be discussed by the MedPAC and be included in the MedPAC March Report to Congress.

For more information or if you have questions, contact Christina Berry, American College of Radiology® Team Lead, Economic Policy.