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Resources for Hospitalists on COVID-19.

SHM Supports the Holding Providers Harmless from Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act


December 02, 2020

SHM's Policy Efforts

SHM supports legislation that affects hospital medicine and general healthcare, advocating for hospitalists and the patients they serve.

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The Honorable Frank Pallone, Jr.
Chairman
Committee on Energy and Commerce
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Greg Walden
Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Richard Neal
Chairman
Committee on Ways and Means
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Kevin Brady
Ranking Member
Committee on Ways and Means
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Pallone, Ranking Member Walden, Chairman Neal, and Ranking Member Brady:

The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), representing the nation’s hospitalists, strongly supports the Holding Providers Harmless from Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act of 2020 (H.R. 8702). This bipartisan legislation will alleviate payment cuts resulting from budget neutrality adjustments in the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) rule.

Hospitalists are front-line clinicians in America’s acute care hospitals and focus on the general medical care of hospitalized patients. As a result, our members are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in every community across the country. Every day hospitalists risk their health and safety to ensure all patients, including COVID positive patients, receive the highest quality care possible. However, hospitalists and many other medical providers are facing extreme payment cuts under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed PFS changes set to go into effect on January 1, 2021. As hospitalists and other medical providers continue to heroically care for patients on the frontlines, we must ensure they are protected from these devastating cuts.

H.R. 8702 alleviates the payment cuts resulting from a budget neutrality adjustment required in the PFS after CMS updated the value of outpatient primary care services. The budget neutrality adjustment will lead to an estimated 8 percent decrease in Medicare Fee for Service revenue for hospitalists. At a time when hospitalist groups are facing untenable budget shortfalls as a result of the pandemic, these budget cuts will have a profoundly negative impact on hospital medicine finances and will negatively impact the quality of hospitalized patient care.

This critical legislation will provide two years of stabilizing relief for providers slated to receive reduced Medicare PFS reimbursement beginning in 2021. As the United States continues to face unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, this legislation will ensure hospitalists and other frontline providers can worry less about their practice's finances and focus exclusively on lifesaving care for patients throughout the country.

SHM strongly supports of the Holding Providers Harmless from Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act of 2020 (H.R. 8702) and stands ready to work with you toward its passage. If you have any questions, please contact Josh Boswell at jboswell@hospitalmedicine.org. Thank you for your leadership on this important issue.

 

Sincerely,
Danielle Scheurer, MD, MSCR, SFHM President, Society of Hospital Medicine