Medicare fees will drop two (2) percent on April 1st for interventional cardiologists and others. A growing number of Congressmen are supporting legislation to reverse these cuts. We need your help by contacting your Members of Congress and urge them to support the bipartisan, “Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act,” (H.R.315). Tell your friends and colleagues.

SCAI is intensifying pressure on lawmakers to reverse these cuts, maintain current Medicare funding levels, and preserve access to patient care in the wake of the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

At SCAI we believe that unless we ACT NOW these cuts will continue. By working together our voices are more powerful. We are asking you to add your voice to all of the interventional cardiologists we represent. Let's stop the bleeding. Let’s bring about change, together. The future of your practice and your specialty may be at stake. We make it easy for you to take action. Join us—add your voice to ours and amplify our message—interventional cardiology saves lives.

Action Requested

  • Use our resources to connect with your Members of Congress and ask them to support H.R.315, a bill that would place a moratorium on the two (2) percent cuts to Medicare physicians, providers, and patients budget sequestration provisions  (links provided below).
  • Remind your Member of Congress that these cuts go into effect on March 31, 2021, and must act now before it is too late.  Please use the link provided here to find your elected officials.

For questions, contact Curtis Rooney, Vice President, Government Relations, crooney@scai.org. Tell us what your Congressional office says.

 

Background

In 2019, CMS finalized broad changes related to evaluation and management (“E/M”) services to reduce administrative burden, improve payment rates, and reflect current clinical practice. The health care community-supported restructuring and revaluing the office-based E/M codes, which will increase payments for primary care and other office-based services. Unfortunately, by law, any changes to the PFS technically cannot increase or decrease total expenditures significantly. As a result, any increases must, therefore, be offset by corresponding decreases.

Reimbursement for coronary stent and balloon angioplasty codes have been reduced by more than 40% since 2000 under Medicare. Interventional Cardiologists face another 10.6% drop in Medicare reimbursement starting January 1, 2021. These cuts are on top of the already steep revenue losses due to patient fears of treatment related to COVID-19. No one would begrudge primary care physicians for proposed increases by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). But with years of medical education, additional training, board certification and hard-won experience interventional cardiologists shouldn’t be punished for providing a skill set of services that deliver outstanding care to your patients.

CMS estimates that the 2021 policies that increase payments for evaluation and management procedures enough that a 10.2% budget neutrality adjustment will have to be made on all procedures. SCAI maintains that the cuts to Medicare will harm physicians, their practices, and most importantly, their patients. Compounding the problem is the fact that Medicare payments have failed to keep up with inflation since the inception of the PFS in 1992. This decrease in the 2021 conversion factor will be below the 1994 conversion factor of $32.9050—which is worth approximately $58.02 today!