AAOS urges Congress to pass bills on prior authorization, CMS physician fee cut

Orthopedic

The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons on Nov. 15 sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to pass two bills concerning pay and prior authorization.

The letter asks Congress to pass the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 and the Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act, according to a news release.

The Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 has nearly 100 co-sponsors and would prevent an impending 4.47 percent cut to the Medicare physician fee schedule. The AAOS noted in the letter that when adjusting for increasing practice costs, Medicare physician reimbursement dropped 20 percent over the past 20 years.

"These impending cuts and lack of inflationary updates are simply not sustainable and continue to generate significant instability for physicians moving forward, threatening beneficiaries' timely access to essential health care services," AAOS President Felix Savoie III, MD, wrote.

The Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives and seeks to improve the prior authorization process in Medicare Advantage.

The AAOS' letter cited two studies. One found that Medicare Advantage plans inappropriately denied up to 85,000 requests in 2019, and another found that 34 percent of physicians reported a serious adverse event in a patient because of prior authorization delays.

Read the full letter here.

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