Biden Makes Medicare Cuts Physicians Say Will Reduce Access To Care

President Biden has repeatedly blamed Republicans for threatening to cut Medicare. But his latest legislation cutting physician payments in the Inflation Reduction Act will lead to benefit cuts and premium increases for Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare’s Part-D is also headed toward a quick downfall.

According to the finalized 2023 Medicare physician fee schedule, payment cuts are coming, and reporting revisions hit telehealth service. Unfortunately, 90% of medical practices report this means bad news for access to care for millions of Medicare beneficiaries. Many physician advocacy groups criticized the payment cuts, but unfortunately, they will be moved forward.

CMS announced that the reduction to Medicare Part B would be 4.5% starting January 1, 2023. Due to budget neutrality adjustments, the CF will fall from $34.6062 to $33.0607. The anesthesia conversion factor will also be hit in 2023 — down to 4.4%.

Medical groups are not satisfied with the finalized rule. Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Anders Gilbert said this is a huge problem for seniors who need access to care. He followed up by stating that this cannot wait until the next Congress since claims processing implications apply to the new policies. The new rules cause physicians to struggle to keep the facility door open, which does not allow physician practices to focus on treating patients.

Meanwhile, private plans participating in Medicare’s Part D programs typically draw on three sources to finance prescriptions for seniors: out-of-pocket payments, premium payments, and subsidies from the feds. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, government subsidies and out-of-pocket costs are scheduled to be cut dramatically. This leaves premium payments as the company’s only source of revenue. The problem is that premiums are also kept from increasing more than % without the subsidies, which doesn’t compensate for the privatized plans’ other loss in revenue. Programs already have too little profit to cover the gaps that the Inflation Reduction Act causes.