WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The Providing Relief and Stability for Medicare Patients Act of 2023 (H.R. 3674), laws to strengthen neighborhood and office-based suppliers, was thought of throughout the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee markup held on November 15.
H.R. 3674 is bipartisan laws that goals to cease ongoing cuts to office-based specialists for the following two years. By doing so, it helps stop main disruptions in affected person entry to care whereas addressing issues about the way forward for Medicare doctor funds. Watch the explainer video on H.R. 3674 HERE.
E&C Health Hearing Highlights
Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12) Transcript:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I admire it very a lot. I first wish to say I’m absolutely supportive of the underlying invoice, H.R. 6371, which can assist present extra stability for suppliers underneath the Medicare price schedule. This invoice will accomplish this by elevating the funds neutrality threshold, requiring CMS to proceed to replace the direct prices relative worth models and alter pricing and limiting the injury of the conversion issue annually. I wish to thank my good good friend, Dr. Burgess. We’re going to overlook you, physician, however I do know we have now just a few extra months left. My bipartisan modification, which I do plan to withdraw, Mr. Chairman would insert a brand new part with the contents of my bipartisan invoice, H.R. 3674, The Providing Relief and Stability for Medicare Patients Act, which was observed in our final subcommittee legislative listening to in October. Of course, I’m disillusioned, however I do know there’s one other day there that we have been unable to get it on the agenda to mark it up and transfer ahead right here as we speak.
H.R. 3674, which I lead with my good good friend, Representative Cárdenas, would mitigate cost cuts to specialty providers offered in neighborhood office-based doctor observe settings. These non-facility settings assist protect affected person entry to care and keep away from additional consolidation within the Medicare program. Office-based specialty care is a important service exterior of the hospital setting. It can also be less expensive for Medicare and for sufferers than when such care is offered in costlier hospital settings. It’s a win-win for everybody, and I hope we get this executed. However, and it is 2022 Physician Fee Schedule CMS finalized an replace to its medical labor coverage and on account of funds neutrality constraints led to important Medicare cuts for office-based specialists, equivalent to radiation oncologists, vascular surgeons, nephrologists, urologists and lots of others. These changes and medical labor prices meant some suppliers confronted over 20% cuts in reimbursements, that is unsustainable, leading to some physicians discontinuing their providers. Very unlucky to the sufferers, leaving the sphere via retirement or consolidating their practices to giant techniques or personal fairness pursuits.
Patients are finally damage by these results on account of lack of entry to specialty care providers of their communities and worse, well being disparities for rural and underserved areas. I signify loads of rural areas in my new district, Mr. Chairman. My invoice would offer two years of focused aid for specialty care suppliers who have been most adversely impacted by this coverage beginning in 2024 and persevering with via 2025. Unfortunately, if we do not act quickly, the following spherical of cuts will result in extra consolidation and I worry worse outcomes for sufferers who pays extra and wait longer for his or her care. We must be doing all we are able to to forestall this in our healthcare system. I perceive that the associated fee related to our invoice could have to be scaled again, and I’m dedicated to discovering a path ahead that ensures that the invoice is absolutely offset. This contains potential methods to cut back the proportion of observe expense, RVUs utilized inside the invoice.
In reality, our laws was designed in a means to make sure these dials may be managed in a means that’s fiscally accountable. I wish to thank Representative Cárdenas for supporting these efforts with me and co-sponsoring this modification. I additionally wish to acknowledge Dr. Murphy and Representative Davis on the Ways and Means Committee. I additionally know that Senator Tillis provided the modification as properly on the Senate Finance Committee final week. So Mr. Chairman and Madam Ranking Member, I ask that you simply each please decide to working with me and the opposite co-leads on this invoice to advance this coverage additional and guarantee office-based specialists have stability underneath the Medicare program. These cuts should be mitigated to permit our docs to proceed to offer nice look after sufferers and our neighborhood. So I can not emphasize this sufficient. I’ve talked to many, many docs, and this must get executed, so we actually would admire your concerns.
Rep. Bilirakis: Yes, thanks, Mr. Chairman. I do know you may work with me on this specific invoice.
Rep. Bucshon (R-IN-8) Vice Chair of the E&C Health Subcommittee: Oh, yeah.
Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29) Transcript:
I want to thank my colleague, congress, for bringing forth this modification, which will likely be massively consequential for entry to care in neighborhood settings. If we’re critical about guaranteeing better accessibility to healthcare providers, we have now to handle the systematic underneath reimbursement for care offered in office-based settings. Office-based specialty care is commonly a lifeline for sufferers with a spread of situations, together with these with most cancers and end-stage renal illness, peripheral artery illness, and others. All of those situations pose a significant danger to constituents in my district, and what is tougher is that these workplace settings are going through potential closures or consolidation into bigger techniques due to cuts.
My concern is that closures and consolidation cut back choices, creating pointless obstacles for individuals looking for wanted care. The native clinics will shut and sufferers’ entry will undergo if this goes unaddressed. I hope that my colleagues comply with work on this laws and to land on a path ahead that helps entry to neighborhood care. We stand able to collaborate on this, many people do.
Lastly, earlier than I conclude, I additionally wish to point out that I’m grateful for a number of the different amendments being proposed as we speak, which look to repair a number of the structural issues with doctor reimbursement. I hope to proceed to have interaction on these points as we go ahead. Failing to take action will contribute to already stunning charges of doctor shortages and reduces entry to look after sufferers.
SOURCE United Specialists for Patient Access