CHICAGO – Today, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (SOCCA), and Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) sent a formal communication to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Charles Schumer, and House Minority leaders Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell, strongly urging them to take immediate action to stop pending Medicare physician payment cuts.
The medical organizations called on Congress to block all pending payment cuts for critical care services and the services of other physicians. Without congressional action, the cuts will be effective January 1, 2023.
“Critical care physicians provide advanced life support, specialized monitoring and sophisticated, high level medical care to patients with life-threatening health conditions,” said ASA President Michael W. Champeau, M.D., FASA. “It is essential the Congress support the health care leadership consistently demonstrated by these professionals.”
“Congress must work to ensure that there is sufficient economic support, especially from Medicare, to ensure patients’ access to high-quality critical care services,” said SOCCA President Michael H. Wall, M.D., FCCM, FASA.
“In recent years, critical care medicine has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, caring for some of the most medically challenging patients seen since the critical care specialty was created, especially at-risk Medicare patients with multiple medical diseases or conditions in the high-risk environments,” according to SCCM President, Sandra L. Kane-Gill, PharmD, MSc, FCCM.
The communication notes that “Medicare payments for critical care services are already broken. Payment freezes and meager updates over the years have resulted in current payments rates that are insufficient. In the current economic environment of high inflation, this is even more true. We find it unthinkable that Congress is considering Medicare payment cuts for critical care and other physician services.”
Read the letter for details on critical care physician concerns about the proposed payment cuts.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 56,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/madeforthismoment. Like ASA on Facebook and follow ASALifeline on Twitter.
ABOUT THE SOCIETY OF CRITICAL CARE ANESTHESIOLOGISTS
The Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists is dedicated to the support and development of anesthesiologists who care for critically ill patients of all types. SOCCA fosters the knowledge and practice of critical care medicine by anesthesiologists through education, research, advocacy, and community.
For more information about SOCCA, please visit www.socca.org.
ABOUT THE SOCIETY OF CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE
The Society of Critical Care Medicine is the largest nonprofit medical organization dedicated to promoting excellence and consistency in the practice of critical care. With members in more than 100 countries, SCCM is the only organization that represents all professional components of the critical care team. The Society offers a variety of activities that ensure excellence in patient care, education, research, and advocacy. SCCM's mission is to secure the highest-quality care for all critically ill and injured patients.
For more information about SCCM, please visit the Society of Critical Care online at www.SCCM.ORG.