ACP Action Alert: Urge Congress to Support Positive Payments for Primary and Comprehensive Care
Internal medicine physician specialists providing primary and comprehensive care are facing extraordinary financial pressures as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic but also because Medicare, Medicaid and other payers have long undervalued evaluation and management (E/M) services (office visits and other non-procedural services). Even before the pandemic, physician practices faced increasing costs and payments that did not keep up with inflation.
ACP strongly supports a decision by CMS to increase undervalued E/M services, with an additional add-on for complex visits, as included in the final rule for the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. It is critically important to internal medicine physicians that those increases get implemented, as scheduled on Jan. 1, 2021, with no delay. View ACP’s letter of support to Congress for full implementation of these payment increases.
ACP also supports legislation that has been introduced in both chambers of Congress that would provide pay parity for primary care services under Medicare and Medicaid. View ACP’s letter of support for H.R. 6159. We are urging AIMn members to engage with us and urge their members of Congress to:
- Require that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) make a targeted allocation out of the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) to primary care physicians and their practices to offset lost revenue and increased expenses, sufficient to keep their doors open.
- Urge CMS to implement increases in Medicare payments for undervalued Evaluation and Management (E/M) Services and complex visits—as included in the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final rule—on January 1, 2021 as scheduled without any delay or transition.
- Cosponsor and pass legislation that provides pay parity for primary care services under Medicare and Medicaid, such as introduced in the House, the Kids Access to Primary Care Act (H.R. 6159), by Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA), and as introduced in the Senate, the Ensuring Access for Women’s and Children’s Act (S. 4088), by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Patty Murray (D-WA).
- Require that all payers pay for audio-only phone calls and telehealth at the same rate as in-person visits.
Action Requested: Please send a letter to your members of Congress and urge their support for the above initiatives. A sample letter has been provided for you that you can personalize. Simply fill in your contact information below, follow the prompts, and submit your letters electronically.