News & Press
DVAC Supports New Legislation to Stop Ongoing Cuts to Office-based Specialists
DVAC backs the bipartisan Providing Relief and Stability for Medicare Patients Act of 2023 (H.R. 3674)
New whitepaper highlights the imperative need for Medicare payment reform
June 16, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Dialysis Vascular Access Coalition (DVAC) publicly supported the Providing Relief and Stability for Medicare Patients Act of 2023 (H.R. 3674), introduced by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12), Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29), Rep. Greg Murphy, MD (R-NC-3), and Rep. Danny Davis (IL-D-7).
The main objective of this bipartisan bill is to stop ongoing cuts to office-based specialists for the next two years. The legislation aims to avoid significant disruptions in patients' ability to access necessary care, all while addressing concerns regarding the future of Medicare physician reimbursements.
DVAC joined a large coalition of national medical societies, representing a broad range of physicians, and health professionals in signing on to a letter of support for the new legislation to the primary co-sponsors.
The letter says, in part, “The office setting is also critical for patient access (especially in rural and underserved areas) and can result in patients receiving care in a timelier manner. Unfortunately, the prolonged instability within the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS)—driven by a confluence of fiscal uncertainties physician practices face related to statutory payment cuts, perennial lack of inflationary updates, significant administrative barriers, and the cumulative impact of the pandemic—is jeopardizing the financial viability of many community, office-based, physician practices.”
The letter goes on to say, “Medicare is incentivizing market consolidation. We are concerned that the ongoing severity of these cuts, combined with additional payment adjustments anticipated in the forthcoming CY2024 PFS, will result in a breaking point for many physicians. Absent additional Congressional intervention via passage of H.R. 3674, the likely result will be more providers leaving the field (either through retirement or career adjustment), more practices being closed or sold, and a significant number of patients losing access to a variety of healthcare services in their communities.”
Dr. Dean Preddie, the DVAC Policy Chair, said:
“DVAC is proud to support this legislation because, if passed, it would mean office-based providers, like those in vascular access centers, would finally get the stability they need. This new policy would protect access to quality care and even potentially begin to reverse the health care consolidation trend forcing specialty providers to close their doors nationwide. Congress must act swiftly, and this is a great step forward.”
Whitepaper & Letter to MedPAC
DVAC applauds a new white paper released by the United Specialists for Patient Access (USPA) and The Moran Company to showcase the value of office-based specialty care.
Office-based specialty care includes a wide range of services, including services to treat cancer patients, dialysis patients, women with fibroids, patients in need of limb salvage procedures and a host of other critical interventions. These services are being jeopardized by ongoing cuts to office-based specialists.
In February, USPA sent a letter to MedPAC laying out evidence that MPFS rebalancing has resulted in large reimbursement cuts for specialists under the MPFS and, in particular, that office-based specialists have borne the brunt of these reimbursement reductions. You can read the letter here.