In December, Congress passed legislation to avert a series of Medicare cuts that would have resulted in an almost 10% reduction in Medicare payments to physicians.
The Endocrine Society has been a vocal advocate for Congress to avert these alarming cuts, which were scheduled to occur in 2022, and we were pleased to see action taken to mitigate these cuts. During the last several months, the Society met with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), met with congressional offices, shared information with congressional leaders, used social media to call attention to this issue, and launched an online advocacy campaign in which our member physicians could share their concerns with their congressional delegations.
The legislation passed by Congress would avoid a 9.75% cut in Medicare physician fees in 2022, replacing it with a 0.75% cut beginning in January. The 0.75% cut will gradually increase by as much as 2.75% by the fourth quarter of 2022 and would increase further in 2023, unless Congress takes additional action. The legislation mitigates the overall 9.75% cut by delaying a 4% across-the-board cut to Medicare reimbursement, preventing a 2% sequestration cut from taking effect at the beginning of the year, and by replacing the 3.75% increase in physician fees in 2021 with a 3% temporary increase in 2022.
While a major cut has been avoided, physicians will see a minimal cut of less than 1% beginning in 2022 that will gradually increase unless Congress takes further action. This means that our work is not done, and we will continue work with Congress and advocate for long-term reforms in Medicare payment. We strongly believe that endocrinologists and physicians in general should not have to fight these payment battles on an annual basis. We look forward to continuing to advocate for a long-term solution which ensures that endocrinologists are adequately reimbursed for the important work they do.
Please stay tuned for more information about our work on this important issue at: www.endocrine.org/advocacy.