Physician teams name for motion in letter to leaders as clock ticks towards finish of 117th Congress.

Time is working out for Congress to take motion on pending laws coping with points that might assist main care throughout the United States.

Six doctor teams representing 590,000 docs throughout the nation despatched a joint letter once more urging congressional leaders to vote – quickly – for payments regarding Medicare reimbursements, prior authorizations, youngsters’s medical health insurance protection, psychological well being, telehealth, and assist for resident physicians in main care.

Time is of the essence, mentioned the Dec. 2 letter by the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, American Osteopathic Association, and American Psychiatric Association.

“As we approach the end of the 117th Congress, we urge Congress to act on the important items described below to ensure our patients have access to quality, affordable, and accessible health care,” the letter mentioned.

The points

The invoice: House Resolution (HR) 8800, the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022

The subject: The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MFPS)

Physicians, well being care directors, and their supporters hope to avert a 4.42% minimize to physician payments scheduled in 2023. Medicare reimbursement entails “a very complex set of budgetary rules and systemic flaws” within the MFPS “that, unless addressed in a comprehensive way, will continue to plague physicians for years to come.” Payment charges aren’t maintaining with inflation and aren’t sustainable for physicians to cowl fundamental bills akin to workers salaries, lease, or new expertise.

The invoice: HR 3173, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act

The subject: The invoice would standardize and streamline the prior authorization approval course of within the Medicare Advantage program. The invoice has handed within the House of Representatives and has not less than 43 bipartisan cosponsors within the Senate. Proponents argue the invoice would enhance well being take care of seniors by rushing up entry, whereas eradicating paperwork complications for physicians and workers.

The subject: Medicaid’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Medicaid and CHIP cowl 42% of all births within the nation. When the COVID-19 pandemic public well being emergency (PHE) ends, so will protection for an estimated 5 million youngsters, together with postpartum females. Enacting 12 months of steady eligibility for them “will ensure that children and new mothers can rely on coverage and will save states the administrative cost associated with churn,” or those that will lose insurance coverage when the PHE ends.

The subject: Mental well being care

A complete legislative package deal should handle rising psychological well being points and substance use dysfunction (SUD). Four potential options:

  • Promote behavioral well being providers in main care.
  • Strengthen the behavioral well being workforce with cash for graduate medical training for psychiatric residencies and for mortgage reimbursement applications.
  • Enhance promotion, prevention, and early intervention with more cash for group well being and psychological well being facilities and colleges.
  • Enforce psychological well being/SUD parity legal guidelines.

The subject: Telehealth

Congress ought to lengthen Medicare telehealth flexibilities not less than to Dec. 31, 2024, together with protection for audio-only providers, to make sure entry for beneficiaries and monetary stability and regulatory readability for physicians. Medicare telehealth entry will proceed for 151 days after the top of the COVID-19 PHE, however that restricted extension and ambiguity concerning the finish of the PHE leaves physicians and sufferers in a state of uncertainty.

The subject: Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME)

Residents who prepare via THCGME usually tend to concentrate on main care and extra prone to stay in underserved or rural communities. The program is profitable in tackling doctor maldistribution, however the medical teams “have grave concerns for the financial stability of programs for the upcoming year.” Flat funding may put applications vulnerable to closure, the medical teams mentioned.

Recipients

The letter was despatched to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell; Rep. Frank Pallone and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of the House Energy & Commerce Committee; Rep. Richie Neal and Rep. Kevin Brady of the House Ways & Means Committee; Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Mike Crapo of the Senate Finance Committee; and Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Richard Burr of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee.

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