News: MedPAC votes unanimously for no change to 2023 physician fee schedule
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) voted unanimously in a public meeting on January 13-14 to recommend the current Medicare physician fee schedule remain the same for 2023. The decision was met with backlash from the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical groups.
In a press release, the AMA stated that after adjusting for inflation in practice costs, Medicare physician payment fell 20% from 2001 to 2020. According to the statement, the MedPAC recommendation “imperils patient access to high-quality care as the costs to practice medicine continue to rise.” Additionally, physicians are not only being asked to do more with fewer resources each year, but also “continue to face significant clinical and financial disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The AMA release notes the $13.9 billion drop in Medicare physician fee schedule spending due to patients delaying care due to the pandemic.
The AMA statement also says that “a stable, annual physician payment update is necessary to keep pace with rising inflation and innovation in physician practices and to ensure all Medicare patients continue to have access to the care they need when they need it.”
Editor’s note: The AMA press release can be found here.