Allowing Medicare cuts to take effect would be 'reckless,' AMA says

The American Medical Association is slamming the inaction of Congress on looming Medicare payment cuts, saying that allowing them would be "reckless during a public health emergency."

The AMA has been sounding the alarm on 9.75 percent in payment cuts that are slated to take effect Jan. 1. The cut will stem from several sources, including resumption of a 2 percent Medicare sequester, imposition of a 4 percent statutory PAYGO sequester, expiration of a 3.75 percent temporary increase in the physician reimbursement and a freeze in annual Medicare provider fee schedule updates.

Additionally, providers may face higher penalties under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, which will increase to 9 percent next year.

"Congress is poised to allow a 10 percent Medicare cut to take effect," the AMA said in a Dec. 2 statement. "These cuts are unsustainable during normal times, and they are reckless during a public health emergency."

The AMA is again urging Congress to use viable legislative levers to prevent the cuts.

"We urge congressional leadership to build off the bipartisan support that’s been demonstrated and prioritize continued access to care for Medicare patients by taking urgent steps to stop these Medicare cuts," the association stated. 

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