During the Covid-19 pandemic Medicare increased payments to certain specialty doctors, including cardiologists and radiation oncologists, by 3.75 percent. That pay increase is set to expire in 2022 and Medicare has decided to allow the expiration.
As a result, several specialties, including interventional radiology, vascular surgery, radiation oncology, and cardiology will see their Medicare reimbursements decrease next year, while other specialty providers like diagnostic testing facilities, portable x-ray, podiatry, hand surgery, and geriatrics will see payment increases, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
As is to be expected, doctor groups are protesting.
“These cuts will endanger patient access to cancer care,” Laura Dawson, chair of the board of directors of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, said in a statement. “Treatment facilities may be forced to cut services or close, which will exacerbate health disparities.”
And another: “Our patients put their trust in us to provide them the best care, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that they cannot trust the system that’s supposed to be set up to support them,” David B. Hoyt, executive director of the American College of Surgeons, said in a statement. “These Medicare cuts will further exacerbate our pandemic-strained health care system and cause further delay in care to the patients who need it most.”
This is something TSCL will keep an eye on. While every effort must be made to contain the costs of medical care in this country, at the same time we cannot jeopardize the care that is needed by seniors.