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FEDERAL | ASPS Challenges MedPAC Proposal

ASPS joined with twenty surgical societies to submit comments to the chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) refuting the Committee's proposal to re-balance the Medicare physician fee schedule in an effort to appropriately value and reimburse primary care services.

The letters cosigned by organized medicine counter statements MedPAC raised about income variations and the choices medical students face when choosing a specialty. ASPS and the specialty medicine community citied statistics that demonstrate how the reimbursement for Evaluation and Management services have increased from $382 million in 2011 to $1.2 billion in 2016 and highlighted the work hour variations between specialists and primary care physicians. The societies also suggest that rather than reduce payments to other clinicians as a means to finance additional funding for primary care services, MedPAC should instead identify other ways to improve the accuracy of Medicare payments.

As an independent congressional agency, MedPAC decisions are shared with Congress as advisories for improving the Medicare program. ASPS monitors all MedPAC recommendations, and when necessary, advocates directly to Congress on ways to improve the quality and efficiency of care for Medicare beneficiaries.

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