Statement attributable to:
Ryan D. Mire, MD, MACP
WASHINGTON April 6, 2023 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) is encouraged by the introduction of legislation in Congress that will help to ensure that Medicare payments to physicians begin to keep up with inflation. The Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act would base future annual updates to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule on a measurement called the Medicare economic index (MEI).
For years physicians have struggled with a broken Medicare payment system that does not allow them to keep up with practice expenses and rising inflation. Physicians and their practices have been faced with decades of flat payments, in addition to being under inordinate strain during the past three years while our country has been dealing with the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent Medicare Trustees’ Report, when adjusted for inflation, Medicare payments to physicians declined by 22 percent from 2001 to 2021. That has left physician practices unable to manage sharp increases in practice expenses, staffing and supply shortages. This legislation is a start in correcting the issues with Medicare physician payments, but this alone will not be sufficient to solve the problem. We need Medicare payments to physicians that will ensure access to high-quality care for our nation’s seniors and provide financial stability to physicians.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 160,000 internal medicine physicians, related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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