WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 8, 2021)—American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) President Daniel K. Guy, MD, FAAOS, issued the following statement in response to the newly passed bill that will delay some of the planned decreases to Medicare payment in 2022:
“Congress is once again heeding the pleas of the healthcare community by trying to mitigate planned cuts to Medicare payment through year-end legislation. Although this short-term relief is much needed for physician practices across the country, it is still only a temporary fix to the much larger problem of Medicare’s broken payment system.
“Year after year, medical specialties like orthopaedics face ongoing decreases to reimbursement that affect more than the obvious physician pay. Long-term, this gradual decline threatens the quality of highly specialized care and the availability of those who can provide it. Musculoskeletal care, for example, is not only critically important to America’s aging population but is also consequential to the mobility and well-being of underrepresented groups.
“If the government truly wants to demonstrate its commitment to value-based care, it must address Medicare’s structural issues and the downward spiral of pay for surgical services. Averting pay cuts in 2021 and now again in 2022 is a start, and we encourage the Senate to swiftly pass this bill—but we cannot overstate the dire need for developing a long-term solution beyond another band-aid fix during the worldwide pandemic.”
About the AAOS
The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Office of Government Relations promotes and advocates the viewpoint of the orthopaedic community before federal and state legislative, regulatory, and executive agencies. Based in Washington, DC, with additional staff in the Academy’s headquarters in Rosemont, Illinois, the Office of Government Relations identifies, analyzes, and directs all health policy activities and initiatives to position the AAOS as the trusted leaders in advancing musculoskeletal health. For more information on all AAOS advocacy efforts, visit http://www.aaos.org/dc.
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