The American Society of Dermatopathology

Advocacy Alert – Don’t let Congress Cut Medicare


Congress is expected to vote this week on a Medicare extenders package as part of the most recent iteration of the FY 2018 spending package. The AMA’s current understanding is that this package will include a spending offset using a flawed, two-year mis-valued codes policy that would reduce the Medicare fee schedule conversion factor in 2019 and produce an actual conversion factor cut in 2020. This budget legislation will be voted on in both the House and Senate no later than Thursday, so it is vital that you express your opposition as soon as possible. Read more contact your Senators and Representatives using the AMA Physicians Grassroots Network. 

Key points to make in your conversations and correspondence include the following:
  • The proposed Medicare extenders legislation expands a policy related to so-called mis-valued codes that has already reduced Medicare physician fee schedule updates each year from 2016-2018.
  • Expanding these cuts will permanently remove spending from the baseline to pay for temporary extension of other Medicare policies.
  • Temporary statutory updates under MACRA were intended to provide a period of stability as physicians made the necessary practice changes to participate in the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or Alternative Payment Models (APMs).
  • Extension of the mis-valued codes policy for two years would cause Medicare payment rates to drop to levels below the 2015 rate prior to repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, completely erasing the investment Congress intended to make to help physician practice prepare for MACRA.
We urge Congress to reject these Medicare cuts and continue to support physicians’ efforts to transition Medicare to a system that is focused on quality and value.