Medicare physician payments need overhaul — and fast — AMA says

Proposed Medicare cuts for physicians are both "unsustainable and unconscionable," the American Medical Association said in a Sept. 11 news release.

The AMA added that the cuts are "bad policy, bad timing and bad for patients."

"Physicians are facing a triple whammy as pay reductions are pending on several fronts," it said. "This unsustainable approach is threatening access to care."

CMS has proposed a 3.36 percent reduction on top of a 2 percent reduction in 2023. Some physicians are also facing a Merit-Based Incentive System penalty in 2024.

Medicare physician payment has effectively declined 26 percent since 2001 even before inflation and the proposed cut for 2024 is factored in, the AMA said.

"With higher costs for everything associated with practicing medicine, another year of Medicare payment cuts jeopardizes patient access and imperils the physician practices on which so many seniors rely," AMA President Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, wrote in the release. "These cuts are unsustainable and unconscionable."

Read the full AMA letter to CMS here.

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