For Immediate Release
February 26, 2024
Patient Advocacy Groups Join Patients Rising to Urge Congress to Address Physician Payment Cuts
WASHINGTON – Today, Patients Rising, along with 22 other patient advocacy groups, submitted a letter to U.S. Congressional leaders urging them to reverse Medicare Physician Fee Schedule cuts that threaten to destabilize the Medicare system and force patients’ trusted medical providers to scale back services or close down altogether, which would limit overall access to care.
The letter expresses profound concern over the severe financial and operational difficulties facing physicians across the United States. These cuts, exacerbated by inflation, administrative burdens, and years of successive cuts to Medicare payments, have led to a cumulative reduction of 30% in physician reimbursements since 2001, according to the American Medical Association.
Specifically, the letter highlights the across-the-board 3.4% Medicare reimbursement cut for 2024 that went into effect at the beginning of this year. Addressed to Speaker Mike Johnson, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Majority Leader Charles Schumer, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the letter describes the potential consequences of physician cuts, rising expenses, and an increasingly strained workforce, particularly the risk that community practices may stop taking Medicare beneficiaries or close altogether.
“Medicare cuts threaten the sustainability of physicians’ practices and patients’ access to quality healthcare services. As part of Patients Rising’s commitment to quality, affordable healthcare, we call for immediate Congressional action to address these cuts to avoid a situation where doctors, particularly in rural and underserved communities, are forced to close their doors because reimbursement falls well below the cost of care,” said Terry Wilcox, Executive Director of Patients Rising.
In the letter, Patients Rising and other signatories call for the enactment of comprehensive Medicare payment reform to ensure fair compensation for physicians and protect patient access to care. The letter states: “Our nation’s doctors have always advocated for us – their patients. It is time that we join forces and advocate for them, too.”
In addition to Patients Rising, many other leading patient advocacy groups signed onto the letter, including:
- Association of Mature American Citizens
- Right Scan, Right Time
- One Cancer Place
For more information about Patients Rising and their initiatives, visit www.patientsrising.com.
About Patients Rising
Patients Rising is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for health rights and access to quality care for all patients. The organization works to address healthcare system challenges, support meaningful legislative reforms, and empower patients with the knowledge and resources needed to navigate their health.