News & Press
DVAC Applauds Letter Asking MedPAC to Work with Congress to Protect Specialty Care Providers and Explore Long-term Medicare Payment Solutions
The letter from USPA outlines how ongoing cuts to office-based specialists are forcing community-based specialty care centers to close
February 23, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC — The Dialysis Vascular Access Coalition (DVAC) is proud to announce its support for the letter sent by the United Specialists for Patient Access (USPA) to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). The letter describes how cuts to office-based specialists, like those included in the 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), are causing widespread specialty office closures. This wave worsens issues of health equity by causing a migration of services to higher cost sites-of-service.
Since 2006, specialties like dialysis, cardiology, radiology, radiation oncology, vascular surgery, and others have been cut by 20-40% under the MPFS. As a result, many vascular access centers (VACs) have been forced to close or reduce their services due to insufficient reimbursement levels. Concurrent with these cuts, there has been an 11% decrease in private practice and an 11% increase in hospital employment or ownership of physician practices.
Dr. Dean Preddie, the DVAC Policy Chair, said, “We strongly support this message championed by USPA because we will repeat as many times as we need to that this cycle of cuts to office-based specialists needs to end. We’re hoping that federal policymakers in this Congress will see how important it is that we work towards a physician fee schedule that prioritizes stability and predictability. It's time for Congress to act and ensure that patients have access to the care they need.”