Advocacy & Practice Updates — Clinical Updates

Physician Payment Reform Draws Bipartisan Attention on the Hill

On May 17, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) released a white paper on Medicare physician payment reform. The white paper surveys the current state of physician pay and concurs with ASRS and the medical community that payments are not keeping up with inflation and may limit access if Congress does not act. The white paper is intended as a first step toward drafting legislation. ASRS will be providing feedback on the report. 

Meanwhile, another bipartisan duo of Senators, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) released the “Pay PCPs Act,” draft legislation aimed at increasing Medicare reimbursement for primary care providers by creating a capitation option that would be in addition to existing fee-for-service payments. The bill would also create a new commission to advise CMS on the valuation of specific physician services. The co-sponsors say they do not intend to replace the AMA’s Relative Value Update Committee (RUC), however, ASRS and the medical community will seek to push back on efforts to diminish the role of the independent, physician-led RUC. This bill is not as likely to advance as the above effort led by the Finance Committee.  

(Published 5.22.24)