The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (SOCCA), and Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) sent a formal communication to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Charles Schumer, and House Minority leaders Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell, strongly urging them to take immediate action to stop pending Medicare physician payment cuts.
The medical organizations called on Congress to block all pending payment cuts for critical care services and the services of other physicians. Without congressional action, the cuts will be effective January 1, 2023.
“Critical care physicians provide advanced life support, specialized monitoring, and sophisticated, high level medical care to patients with life-threatening health conditions,” said ASA President Michael W. Champeau, MD, FASA. “It is essential the Congress support the health care leadership consistently demonstrated by these professionals.”
“Congress must work to ensure that there is sufficient economic support, especially from Medicare, to ensure patients’ access to high-quality critical care services,” said SOCCA President Michael H. Wall, MD, FCCM, FASA.
“In recent years, critical care medicine has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, caring for some of the most medically challenging patients seen since the critical care specialty was created, especially at-risk Medicare patients with multiple medical diseases or conditions in the high-risk environments,” according to SCCM President, Sandra L. Kane-Gill, PharmD, MSc, FCCM.
The communication notes that “Medicare payments for critical care services are already broken. Payment freezes and meager updates over the years have resulted in current payments rates that are insufficient. In the current economic environment of high inflation, this is even more true. We find it unthinkable that Congress is considering Medicare payment cuts for critical care and other physician services.”
- This press release was originally published on the American Society of Anesthesiologists website