The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons President Daniel K. Guy MD, FAAOS issued the following statement to address the recently passed bill which will delay some of those planned reductions in Medicare payment in 2022.
“Congress is listening to the pleas from the healthcare community and trying to reduce planned cuts to Medicare payments through year-end legislation. This short-term relief is needed by physician practices all across the country. However, it does not address the larger problem of Medicare’s broken payment system.
“Orthopaedics, a medical specialty, is seeing a steady decline in reimbursement. This affects more than just the physician’s pay. This gradual decline in reimbursement will long-term threaten the quality and availability of highly specialized care. For example, musculoskeletal care is crucial for America’s aging population and is important for the mobility of underrepresented populations.
“If the government wants to show its commitment to value-based healthcare, it must address Medicare’s structural problems and the downward spiral in pay for surgical services. We encourage the Senate’s swift passage of this bill. However, we cannot emphasize the urgent need to find a long-term solution that goes beyond a temporary fix for the global pandemic.