On Nov. 2, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2022. The final schedule contains across-the-board cuts for physicians due to budget neutrality adjustments as required by law. A stack of Medicare payment cuts coming on Jan. 1 will amount to an approximately 9.75 percent hit unless averted by Congressional action:
- Expiration of the congressionally enacted 3.75% temporary increase in the Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) conversion factor to avoid payment cuts associated with budget neutrality adjustments tied to PFS policy changes.
- Imposition of a 4% Statutory PAYGO sequester resulting from passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Should lawmakers fail to act, it will mark the first time that Congress has failed to waive Statutory PAYGO.
- Expiration of the current reprieve from the repeatedly extended 2% sequester stemming from the Budget Control Act of 2011. Congress originally scheduled this policy to sunset in 2021, but it will now continue into 2030.
- A statutory freeze in annual Medicare PFS updates under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) that is scheduled to last until 2026, when updates resume at a rate of 0.25% a year indefinitely, a figure well below the rate of medical or consumer price index inflation.
There is growing momentum around demands that Congress take action to address these devastating Medicare cuts before it’s too late. Please take a moment and contact your senators and representative to tell them to cancel the cuts!