• Final 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Signals Urgent Need for Congressional Action

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
    November 1, 2022

    Statement attributable to: 
    Tochi Iroku-Malize, MD, MPH, MBA, FAAFP 
    President
    American Academy of Family Physicians 

    “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2023 Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) final rule will result in unsustainable Medicare payment cuts for family physicians and put patients’ timely access to essential primary care at risk. Furthermore, this policy will setback progress achieved towards building a more value-based health care system and will result in further consolidation of the physician workforce. We strongly urge Congress to protect patients and support physicians by averting these cuts and investing in a more sustainable Medicare physician payment system. 

    “Family physicians provide high-quality care to our patients and our communities, but inadequate Medicare payment rates strain physician practices and create barriers to care for beneficiaries. This trend cannot continue, especially amid a pandemic that has altered the health care landscape.

    “The AAFP calls on Congress to pass legislation safeguarding Medicare beneficiaries’ access to comprehensive primary care and other essential services by averting payment cuts set to go into effect in 2023. Congress must also invest in positive annual updates to Medicare physician payment to account for inflation in practice costs. It’s past time to end the untenable physician payment cuts – which have now become an annual threat to the stability of physician practices --- caused by Medicare budget neutrality requirements and the ongoing freeze in annual payment updates.

    “Addressing low Medicare payment rates will also support the transition to value-based payment. Our physicians need a Medicare payment system that enables them to invest in practice transformation and infrastructure to adopt alternative payment models (APMs). Physicians in APMs are better equipped to address unmet social needs and provide other enhanced services that are not supported by fee-for-service payment rates. However, insufficient Medicare fee-for-service payment rates, inadequate support, and burdensome timelines are undermining the move to value-based care and exacerbating our nation’s underinvestment in primary care.

    “We look forward to continuing to work with CMS and Congress to ensure that physicians can meet the diverse health needs of their patients and communities and continue to provide high-quality care for all.”

    Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Iroku-Malize, contact Julie Hirschhorn, 202-655-4949, or jhirschhorn@aafp.org.

    ***

    About American Academy of Family Physicians
    Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 127,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the specialty of family medicine and the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, visit www.aafp.org. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.