Get Involved

Ask Congress to Stop Medicare Funding Cuts

On January 1, 2022, Medicare faces looming cuts that can impact patient access to Medicare services. ASE appreciates the action Congress took in adopting the Consolidated Appropriations Act, that delayed the budget neutrality cuts resulting from changes to the codes for office and outpatient evaluation and management services. However, this cut and several others, are due to be implemented. Please contact your member of Congress and ask them to prevent:

  • The congressionally enacted 3.75% temporary increase in the Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) conversion factor to avoid pay cuts associated with budget neutrality adjustments tied to CY2021 PFS policy changes. This results in a pending -3.75% cut across the board to all PFS payments.
  • Expiration of the current reprieve from the -2% sequester stemming from the Budget Control Act of 2011.
  • Imposition of a -4% statutory pay-as-you-go 9(PAYGO) sequester resulting from passage of the American Rescue Plan Act.
  • Implementation of the clinical labor rates decrease for services for echocardiography in the proposed 2022 PFS practice expense (or at least delay it).

These reimbursement decreases come at one of the most financially uncertain times within the Medicare payment history. These steep cuts could have serious financial consequences for physicians who are already under financial distress due to the sustained COVID-19 pandemic.

Please take a minute to quickly email your Member of Congress and urge them to prevent these devastating cuts to echocardiography!

Senators Push CMS to Make Changes to Prior Authorization to Reduce Administrative Burden for Providers

On October 28, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and John Thune (R-SD) led a bipartisan group of senators in requesting an update on the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) efforts to streamline prior authorization protocols across programs, including Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.

The senators are encouraging the administration to use their bipartisan legislation, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act, as a framework to require private insurance companies that operate MA plans to adopt electronic prior authorization programs and approve medical services in a more timely manner. Prior authorization, when used appropriately, can be an important tool to ensure beneficiaries receive clinically appropriate treatments and help control the cost of care; however, when used improperly, prior authorization can lead to delays in care for patients and result in administrative burdens for providers. The Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act would help to streamline prior authorization processes, and promote safe, timely, and affordable access to evidence-based care for Medicare Advantage enrollees and the providers and suppliers who care for them.

The full text of the bipartisan letter is available here.  The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Michael Bennet (D-CO), John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tom Carper (D-DE), John Boozman (R-AR), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Please contact you senators to sign on if they have not already done so.