Warning for Congressional Leaders: Planned Cuts in Medicare Might Cripple Specialty Providers

Radiology groups continue the full-court press opposing congressional leaders and seeking immediate relief to prevent tens of millions of cuts in Medicare to specialty, which is all set to arrive soon.

Their latest plea was in the form of a letter written to Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, and Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader. Radiology groups are trying to implore these personalities to waive off the budget of neutrality requirements. Primarily, their concerns are stemming from CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), and the plan of boosting primary care payment and related providers billing for evaluation as well as management services. This demands a conforming cut in other places falling under the category of radiology and/or other similar specialties, as per the 10 noted societies.

Members of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Radiology Business Management Association wrote, “We have no objection to improved payment for visits to E/M billed offices, such as primary care, however, at this moment, the timing is unfit for significant pay cuts of essential services. The radical adjustments to budget neutrality needed by the CMS can cripple other specialty providers till the time congress acts upon the plan of waiving budget neutrality completely.”

Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging also highlighted this letter and noted that the nuclear medicine stream stands for sustaining a reduction of 8% in total payment whereas radiology could see a sharp drop of 11%. However, in the event of no action taken by Congress, other Medicare beneficiaries would see some reduction in their access to healthcare during consolidation in this industry.  In fact, providers have already been struggling to discover a better foothold during the challenging times and critical business climate in 2020, making this the inopportune time for reduced reimbursement, read the letter.

They also added, “due to this ongoing covid-19 pandemic, healthcare providers and physicians are facing an unprecedented challenge in public health as well as in the economy of nations.”

The letter, which was also addressed to the leaders of the minority like the House Kevin McCarthy and the Senate Charles Schumer, is yet another latest attempt to quash Medicare cuts. The RBMA, in its note to Seema Verma, the CMS Administrator, wrote highlighting that a member study found 50% of participants practice plan to decrease staffing by 2021. ACR together with a coalition of more than 1.4 million providers also wrote another letter, appreciating the legislative fix at present, which was introduced by Michael Burgess, MD of R-Texas and the representative.

Others to sign the message were the Association for Medical Imaging Management, the American Society of Radiologic Technologies, the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, and the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance, to name a few.

sepStream® is the most trusted place for unparalleled medical imaging services. If you want speedy and accurate results to protect your health, get medical imaging done from the most professional place with precision and care.