Senate Finance Holds Hearing to Consider Reforms to Medicare Payment System | Heart Rhythm Society

Senate Finance Holds Hearing to Consider Reforms to Medicare Payment System

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are working to reform the physician payment system following the Medicare reimbursement cut that took effect on January 1, 2024.

Legislative Updates

Congress passed a provision to mitigate the 3.37% cut as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 which reduced the cut to 1.77% (relative to 2023 payment) starting on March 9th. Additionally, a bipartisan group of senators have formed a Medicare Payment Reform Working Group to "investigate and propose long-term reforms to the physician fee schedule and make necessary updates to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 also referred to as MACRA. The working group includes Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso, MD (R-Wyo.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.), all members of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Medicare program.

On April 11th, the Senate Finance Committee convened a hearing titled "Bolstering Chronic Care through Medicare Physician Payment." During the hearing panel members heard testimony from the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Amol Navathe, MD, PhD, Professor of Health Policy and Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a commissioner on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, and Melanie Matthews, CEO of the Physicians of Southwest Washington, also testified. Witnesses and lawmakers discussed how to update and strengthen the Medicare program for the next generation of seniors and how to improve Medicare clinician payments, with agreement around the need for new care models, investment in primary care, changes to budget neutrality requirements, and an annual inflationary update.

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