UPDATE: This week ACOG joined a broad coalition of medical societies to urge the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to waive Medicare budget neutrality requirements for 2021. The current COVID-19 public health emergency grants HHS broad authority to make regulatory changes in response to the pandemic. We asked HHS to use this authority to stop the forthcoming 2021 Medicare payment cuts, which would only add to the financial strain that physician practices are currently facing due to COVID-19.
Read on for more information about how we are partnering with other surgical specialties and physician groups to ensure that obstetric care and gynecologic surgery are valued fairly.
As part of our comprehensive advocacy efforts to stop Medicare payment cuts to obstetric and surgical services, ACOG signed onto a letter to Congressional leaders requesting that they pass legislation to waive Medicare budget neutrality requirements for 2021. ACOG joined with a large coalition of specialty societies and non-physician groups to tell Congress that they must step in and stop the forthcoming 2021 Medicare cuts.
Last year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a policy to increase Medicare payment rates for office visits beginning in 2021. However, Medicare policy changes are required by law to be budget neutral. Since the increased payment for office visits will increase Medicare spending significantly, these increases must be offset by reducing payment for other services, including obstetric care and gynecologic surgery. Waiving budget neutrality requirements would allow CMS to implement payment increases for office visits without cutting payments for other women’s health services.
This letter is just one piece of ACOG’s efforts to improve payment rates for obstetrician-gynecologists and preserve access to care for patients. This summer, as our legislative efforts progress and CMS considers new Medicare policies, there will be opportunities for you to act on behalf of your specialty!