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Bratcher: Concerns about the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule


Please stop the impending 3.4% cut to Medicare providers in 2024 that the CMS finalized in the 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule. CMS acknowledges in the rule that due to budget neutrality requirements, the majority of the cut is to increase payments for primary care services through the new G2211 code.
While additional investments in primary care physician services is critical, these increases are being paid for by an across-the-board cut to all clinicians, including non-physician providers such as physical therapists. Despite congressional intervention, therapists have been impacted by the 9.2% cut to the conversion factor since 2021 that has reduced overall payment. This doesn’t even include the 15% cut from the PTA differential in 2022.

This is simply not sustainable for providers and small health care businesses, especially for practices in rural and underserved areas. Further, therapists are facing these cuts when they are expecting a 4.6% increase in medical practice cost inflation in 2024, as measured by the Medicare economic index.

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.