TAKE ACTION: Contact your legislators and urge them to help fix the flawed Medicare physician payment system by supporting H.R. 2474 today.
Earlier this week, Reps. Raul Ruiz, MD (D-CA), Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN), Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks, MD (R-IA), introduced legislation to apply an automatic inflation update to Medicare physician payments. The AACU is advocating for support of this legislation in partnership with the American Medical Association and the AMA Federation.
The bill, H.R. 2474, would tie the Medicare physician fee schedule to the Medicare Economic Index (MEI), something the AACU and the AMA have long supported. Doing so would put physicians on equal footing with almost all other health care providers that receive annual inflation-based updates. Current law requires physician payment rates to be frozen from 2020 through 2025, and most services will receive a minimal 0.25% annual update in 2026 and onward.
The bill introduction comes on the heels of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommendation that Congress increase 2024 Medicare physician payments above current law by linking the payment update to the MEI. Also, the Medicare Trustees Report recently said lawmakers should “expect access to Medicare-participating physicians to become a significant issue in the long term” unless Congress takes steps to bolster the payment system