SHM Supports the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2021
November 30, 2021
SHM's Policy Efforts
SHM supports legislation that affects hospital medicine and general healthcare, advocating for hospitalists and the patients they serve.
The Honorable Ami Bera, MD
172 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Larry Buschon, MD
2313 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Dr. Bera and Dr. Buschon,
The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), representing the nation’s hospitalists, applauds your leadership on the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2021 (H.R. 6020). This legislation would extend the 2021 Medicare physician payment adjustment of positive 3.75% for an additional year.
Hospitalists are on the front-lines in America’s acute care hospitals and focus on the general medical care of hospitalized patients. As a result, our members have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in every community across the country. Facing personal risk, exhaustion, and burnout, hospitalists have continued to provide high-quality care throughout every surge of the pandemic, including those arising from the Delta variant. Despite hospitalists’ heroic resolve to care for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, they are exhausted and being pushed to the brink. Hospital medicine teams face record levels of burnout and staffing shortages. The impending cuts to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule will further contribute to these challenges.
Without Congressional action, hospitalists face an approximate 10 percent payment cut on January 1, 2022. These payment cuts coincide with the financial challenges accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic and are a result of multiple compounding factors, including the expiration of the reprieve from the 2 percent sequester, the expiration of the 2021 Congressionally-enacted 3.75 percent increase to the Medicare physician fee schedule that offset budget neutrality cuts, and across-the-board cuts to curtail spending increases.
The Supporting Medicare Providers Act will provide some relief from these cuts by extending the 3.75 percent increase Medicare physician payment adjustment for an additional year. Passing this legislation is critically important to ensuring our healthcare system has the resources it needs to provide lifesaving care for hospitalized patients throughout the country.
SHM is pleased to support this legislation and looks forward to advocating for its passage. If you have any questions, please contact Josh Boswell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your leadership on this important issue.
Jerome Siy, MD, MHA, SFHM
President, Society of Hospital Medicine