AMA weighs in on MedPAC move to recognize cost of practicing medicine

The American Medical Association is commending the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission for calling for a physician payment update linked to the Medicare Economic Index.

"Having surveyed the healthcare landscape, MedPAC recognized that physician pay has not kept up with the cost of practicing medicine," AMA president Jack Resneck Jr., MD, said in a March 15 news release from the association.

According to the AMA, Medicare physician payments have declined by 26 percent from 2001 to 2023, with physicians seeing a 2 percent payment reduction for 2023 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and the growing costs of running a practice.

In addition to expressing support for the move from MedPAC, the AMA and 134 other health organizations sent a letter March 15 to congressional leaders urging them to pass legislation for an annual inflation-based payment update based on the MEI.

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