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Feb 27, 2024

Contact: Grant Herring

Office-Based Providers Ask New Senate Medicare Working Group to Include H.R. 3674

Doctors ask bipartisan group not to ignore key PFS reform

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the United Specialists for Patient Access (USPA) announced they are asking the bipartisan U.S. Senate working group on Medicare payment reform to tackle reductions in Medicare relative value units (RVUs) that significantly impact community-based specialists. UPSA has endorsed the Providing Relief and Stability for Medicare Patients Act of 2023 (H.R. 3674) and is calling on the working group to incorporate the legislation into their discussions.

On February 9, Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.) announced that they have teamed up to establish a working group focused on Medicare payment reform. The goal of the bipartisan effort seeks to dive into the intricacies of the physician fee schedule (PFS) and suggest long-term reforms while also addressing updates needed for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Click here to view the announcement..

H.R. 3674 is bipartisan legislation that aims to stop ongoing cuts to office-based specialists for the next two years. By doing so it helps prevent major disruptions in patient access to care while addressing concerns about the future of Medicare physician payments. Watch the explainer video on H.R. 3674 HERE.

Bret Wiechmann, MD, Past President, Outpatient Endovascular and Interventional Society, said: “Our hope is that this bipartisan working group will factor in this legislation to help curtail the current health care consolidation trend and protect outpatient access to quality care across the United States. Office-based doctors stand ready to help this new working group in any way possible. Many medical societies, patient advocacy groups, and medical device companies support H.R. 3674 because it will create some stability for office-based providers who have suffered significant reimbursement cuts over the past several years.”

Dr. Dean Preddie, the DVAC Policy Chair, said: “While significant focus has rightfully been placed on the decreasing conversion factor's failure to match inflation, the gradual reduction of RVUs is equally a troubling issue for office-based specialists nationwide.”

Jeffrey G. Carr, MD, an Interventional Cardiologist, Endovascular Specialist, and CVC Board member, stated: “Office-based specialists play an essential role in our healthcare system. Without their care, patients are left with fewer options and, unfortunately, less specialized care that too often leads to avoidable but grave consequences, like amputation. This new legislation would protect access to the quality care our nation needs. I know firsthand what a struggle it is to stay in business when the reimbursement rates are so low because my group recently had to sell our practice to a local hospital.”

Specialty care provided in office settings plays a crucial role outside of the hospital setting. USPA believes that preserving the office environment is essential for ensuring patient access and delivering care promptly. Office-based specialists across the country offer diverse services to patients dealing with conditions such as cancer, end-stage renal disease, eye disease, fibroids, as well as those requiring limb salvage and many more. USPA represents cardiologists, radiation oncologists, vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, and many other practice areas on the frontlines of treating patients.

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