Payment Policy Changes

Orthopaedic surgeons and the physician community are constantly facing cuts to Medicare reimbursement. In 2022 those combined cuts added up to nearly 10% of reimbursement. AAOS advocated fiercely against these cuts and in December 2021 President Biden signed the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act into law which effectively decreased the cuts from 10% to 2.5% in 2022. AAOS was pleased to see Congress take action to mitigate the cuts before the end of the year, but it is only a temporary fix to Medicare's broken payment system.


Accounting for inflation physician payment in Medicare has decreased 20% over the past 20 years. One of reasons being that the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule does not have a budgetary mechanism to account for inflation, while other groups that receive Medicare reimbursement, like hospitals, do. The fee schedule is also subject to congressionally mandated budget neutrality requirements. AAOS is working to reform these budget neutrality rules and payment processes and are supportive of the American Medical Association’s Characteristics of a Rational Medicare Payment System that were released in May 2022 and can be found below.


We will continue to advocate for long-lasting reforms that will help our members and improve patient access to care (see full AAOS statement).