Public Policy

AOA submits comments to Senate Finance Committee on physician payment reform

By AOA Staff


In our continued efforts to represent the interests of osteopathic physicians and ensure patient access to quality care, on June 14, the AOA submitted a comprehensive response to the Senate Finance Committee on physician payment reform. Without reforms to the Medicare physician payment methodology, consolidation and physician shortages will worsen, as will patients’ ability to access care. The comments highlight many areas that impact physicians, including:

  • Predictable annual updates: The need for predictable and annual updates to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) to protect patient access and ensure the financial stability of physician practices.
  • Budget neutrality adjustments: Increasing the budget neutrality threshold to mitigate the adverse effects of necessary payment adjustments. This change would prevent payment reductions in some specialties when new procedures or upward adjustments are implemented in others.
  • Support for alternative payment models (APMs): Supporting policies that support the transition to value-based payment models. These models should be flexible, reduce administrative burdens and provide adequate compensation for the complexity and quality of care provided by physicians.
  • Merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) reforms: Comprehensive reforms to MIPS are essential to better measure and reward quality improvements.
  • Chronic care management: Stressing the importance of investment in chronic disease management, advocating for payment reforms that support longitudinal relationships between physicians and patients, especially for those with multiple chronic conditions.
  • Ensuring integrity of the PFS: Systematic updates to practice expense data and supported the reestablishment of CMS’ Refinement Panel to ensure accurate and equitable physician payment rates.

The AOA will continue to advocate for policies that enhance the financial viability of osteopathic practices and improve patient care. Be sure to read the full response to learn more about the recommendations we provided to Congress to ensure the osteopathic voice is heard.