Act now to prevent a 3.37% Medicare payment cut
By Jarrod Fowler, MHA, FMA Director of Healthcare Policy and Innovation | Dec. 20, 2023

A 3.37% Medicare payment cut is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. Fortunately, new legislation in Congress would prevent this cut from hitting physicians at a time when practices can least afford it.

While no action is expected to be taken between now and the end of the year, Congress can still address this cut retroactively. To that end, H.R. 6683, the “Preserving Seniors’ Access to Physicians Act of 2023,” has been introduced. We urge you to ask your congressional representative and senators to sign onto this bill by clicking here and submitting the provided form letter. You also have the option to add a personalized note explaining how this legislation would affect you. Together, the physicians of Florida can help to prevent these devastating Medicare cuts from impacting the Sunshine State.

Your FMA has made this issue a top priority. We have advocated repeatedly for putting a stop to these cuts and are utilizing every means available to do so.

Previous FMA advocacy messaging:
On behalf of the Florida Medical Association and the 22,000 members we represent, we are writing to urge you to help stop the 3.4% Medicare physician pay cut that is scheduled to take effect in 2024.

From 2001 to 2023, Medicare physician pay declined 26% after adjusting for inflation in terms of practice costs. Future statutory updates to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule are also not projected to keep pace with rising inflation. The Medicare Trustees have cited these continuously declining Medicare physician pay rates as a long-term threat to access to care.

As a state that is home to roughly five million Medicare beneficiaries and a growing physician shortage, it is imperative that Medicare beneficiaries continue to enjoy robust access to high-quality health care. It is crucial that Medicare rates are economically sustainable so that Florida can attract and retain physicians, and so that medical practices are not forced to limit the number of Medicare beneficiaries they serve.

While Medicare also requires long-term reforms to ensure the program remains economically viable for medical practices in the years to come, stopping this imminent 3.4% Medicare pay cut is of immediate importance, particularly given that medical practice inflation is projected to be 4.6% next year. We therefore respectfully urge you to help stop this 3.4% physician pay cut from taking effect in 2024. We additionally urge you to prioritize reforming the Medicare payment system to provide sustainable, positive updates that keep pace with inflation to prevent a similar crisis from occurring in the future.

Jason M. Goldman, MD, FACP
President, Florida Medical Association