Proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule Jeopardizes Patient Care, Argues the Surgical Care Coalition

WASHINGTON, August 4, 2020 – The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for calendar year 2021 (CY2021) jeopardizes patient care, specifically surgical care. While the proposed rule takes steps to increase access to care through telehealth, it also has the potential to drastically reduce patients’ access to surgical care, just as many patients have delayed care due to COVD-19.

In the fee schedule announced by CMS, surgeons will see their Medicare payments cut by 9% for cardiac surgery, 8% for thoracic surgery, 7% for vascular surgery, 7% for general surgery, 7% for neurosurgery and 6% for ophthalmology for CY2021.

“We support steps to expand access to care, but this rule takes one step forward and several steps back by disregarding patients’ needs and the surgeons who care for them. The middle of a pandemic is no time for cuts to any form of health care, yet this proposed rule moves ahead as if nothing has changed. The health care system cannot absorb cuts of this magnitude,” said David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, American College of Surgeons Executive Director. “The Surgical Care Coalition believes no physician should see payment cuts that will reduce patients’ access to care. This proposed rule would move forward with significant payment cuts that will only make the situation worse and harm patients.”

The proposed rule affirms, and for some surgical specialties increases, the cuts CMS announced last year, which are set to take effect January 1, 2021. These cuts will reduce payments to nearly all surgical specialties, including by as much as 9 percent for some surgeons. The policy was ill-informed and dangerous to patients even before the pandemic started but could be even more detrimental as our health care system continues to weaken under COVID-19.

To stop these cuts and preserve care for patients, Congress must act now. The Surgical Care Coalition is urging Congress to enact legislation to waive Medicare’s budget neutrality requirements for these E/M adjustments and to require CMS to apply the increased E/M adjustment to all 10- and 90-day global code values.

In a survey earlier this year, one-in-three private surgical practices stated that they are already at risk of closing permanently due to the financial strain of the COVID-19 crisis. In the same survey, it was found that nearly half of surgeons face more difficult financial decisions, and are responding by either cutting their own pay or paying employees in the face of declining revenues. This rule will likely force surgeons to take fewer Medicare patients leading to longer wait times and reduced access to care for older Americans.

About the Surgical Care Coalition

The Surgical Care Coalition advocates for access to quality surgical care for all Americans. The Surgical Care Coalition is comprised of 12 surgical professional associations that proudly represent more than 150,000 surgeons working across the country with a common goal of improving the quality of care, and quality of life, for all patients. The founding members have worked together for nearly three decades to promote sound policy solutions to the U.S. Congress and federal regulatory agencies to solve the biggest challenges in health care.

DOWNLOAD PDF

Media Contact: [email protected]

The 2020 A.S.C.R.S. Virtual Meeting is Here!

Designed with you in mind, the new Annual Scientific Conference Recorded Sessions gives you the flexibility to experience all of the highlights of the ASCRS Annual Scientific Meeting from anywhere.

 

We’re highlighting nearly 600 video abstracts that were accepted for the 2020 ASCRS Annual Scientific Meeting, along with plenary session videos and much more. We’re also hosting a virtual exhibit hall where you will be able to connect with industry partners and learn more about innovative technology and products. Earn your CME today!

See what Dr. Tracy Hull (Immediate Past President) and Dr. Tim Ridolfi (2020 Program Chair) have to say.

 

ASCRS Members: You have complimentary access to this platform.

 

Nonmembers: You may purchase access for $325.00 or join to enjoy all ASCRS member benefits.
 

ASCRS is a Proud Founding Member of New Coalition Launched to Stop CMS Cuts to Surgical Care

ASCRS is proud to reinforce its commitment to protecting patients, improving their quality of life, and ensuring access to and choice of surgical care by announcing it joined the Surgical Care Coalition as a founding member. As part of this group, ASCRS will support the coalition’s effort to work with Congress to stop planned cuts to Medicare payments that would hurt patients.

ASCRS strongly opposes these cuts, planned by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), that will reduce payments for surgical care and take effect in January 2021. These cuts could force surgeons to take fewer Medicare patients, which would lead to reduced access to care for older Americans and lower their quality of life.

With the other 11 founding members in the coalition, ACSRS wants Congress to waive Medicare’s budget neutrality requirements to prevent the cuts and require CMS to apply the increased evaluation and management (E/M) adjustment to 10- and 90-day and maternity global code values. This will ensure Medicare patients continue to have the best access—to the best care—when they need it and where they need it.

The Surgical Care Coalition commissioned a survey of more than 5,000 surgeons, which found that surgeons are facing serious financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the cuts were announced before the pandemic, with the combined impact of the planned CMS cuts and the financial distress due to COVID-19, surgeons and hospitals will face difficult decisions to keep surgical practices afloat.

About The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons

The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) is the premier society for colon and rectal surgeons and other surgeons dedicated to assuring high quality patient care by advancing the science through research and education for prevention and management of disorders of the colon, rectum and anus.

About the Surgical Care Coalition

The Surgical Care Coalition advocates for access to quality surgical care for all Americans. The Surgical Care Coalition is comprised of 12 surgical professional associations that proudly represent more than 150,000 surgeons working across the country with a common goal of improving the quality of care, and quality of life, for all patients. The founding members have met and informally worked together for nearly three decades to promote sound policy solutions to the U.S. Congress and federal regulatory agencies to solve the biggest challenges in health care.

ASCRS Leadership Changes

Please join us in welcoming the new 2020-2021 Executive Council Officers, Members at Large and Fellows.

Executive Council Officer
  • President Neil H. Hyman, MD
  • Past President Tracy L. Hull, MD
  • President-Elect Thomas E. Read, MD
  • Vice President Conor P. Delaney, MD, PhD
  • Secretary Matthew G. Mutch, MD
  • Treasurer Sonia L. Ramamoorthy, MD
Members at Large
2018-2021
  • Najjia N. Mahmoud, MD
  • Charles B. Whitlow, MD
  • Kirsten B. Wilkins, MD
2019-2022
  • Charles M. Friel, MD
  • Jan Rakinic, MD
  • Sharon L. Stein, MD
2020-2023
  • Liliana G. Bordeianou, MD
  • Craig A. Reickert, MD
  • Elizabeth C. Wick, MD

International Fellows
  • Asif Haque, MD
  • Mohammad Keramati, MD
  • Qamar Hafeez Kiani, MD
  • Tsuyoshi Konishi, MD
  • Hongcheng Lin, MD, PhD
  • Emilio Morpurgo, MD
  • Emad Mustafa, MD
  • Sarhan Sydney Saad, MD, PhD
  • Arceu Scanavini Neto, MD
  • Fadel Shabeeb, MD
Fellows
  • Ariane M. Abcarian, MD
  • Titilayo O. Adegboyega, MD
  • Jennifer L. Agnew, MD
  • Cristan E. Anderson, MD
  • Theodor Asgeirsson, MD
  • Ellen H. Bailey, MD
  • Moshe Barnajian, MD
  • Victor H. Barnica, MD
  • Jai Bikhchandani, MD
  • Kristen M. Blaker, MD
  • Ramon A. Brown, MD
  • Melissa I. Chang, MD, MSE
  • Matthew V. Chauviere, MD
  • Amanda F. Cimsit, MD
  • Nadav Dujovny, MD
  • Marjun Philip Narcisco Duldulao, MD
  • Justin L. Fischer, MD
  • Neil William Carlton Gibson, MD
  • Wisam J. Halabi, MD
  • Kristina G. Hobson, MD
  • Jennifer E. Hrabe, MD
  • Lyen C. Huang, MD
  • William Forrest Johnston, MD
  • David A. Kleiman, MD
  • Jennifer A. Leinicke, MD
  • Calvin D. Lyons Jr., MD
  • Allan S. Mabardy, MD
  • Benjamin M. Martin, MD
  • Haane Massarotti, MD
  • Mary Teresa O'Donnell, MD
  • Stephanie Mary Pannell, MD
  • Jennifer L. Paruch, MD
  • Anathea C. Powell, MD
  • Dan Enger Ruiz, MD
  • Deborah R. Schnipper, MD
  • Sherief F. Shawki, MD
  • Patrick D. Solan, MD
  • Gabriela M. Vargas, MD
  • Julie Ann Van Koughnett, MD
  • Maria Sophia Villanueva, MD
  • Lauren R. Wilson, MD
  • Matthew Z. Wilson, MD, MSC

A Message from ASCRS on Racism

We are deeply saddened by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Their deaths, along with many others, are tragic and weigh heavy on our hearts. We unequivocally condemn any acts of racism and violence.

The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons is committed to diversity, inclusiveness, fairness, and equity. We are concerned about the health and safety of every person.

We direct our members to a reading list compiled by the Student National Medical Association (www.snma.org) to enhance their personal understanding of the perspectives of our brothers and sisters of color.

We must use our voice to advocate for changes that may remedy existing inequities, particularly in healthcare, that have persisted far too long and have contributed to our current situation. Together, through meaningful actions, we can promote justice for all of our members, our society, and our patients regardless of color, ethnic group, or social status.
 
Displaying results 11-15 (of 257)
 |<  <  1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10  >  >|