It's clear that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a profound effect on the nation's health care system for years to come — a fact that only strengthens the argument that CMS' proposed 2021 cuts to Medicare payment are monumentally ill-advised. That's why we've joined with 52 other health care organizations and signed on to a letter to congressional leaders urging them to do something before it's too late.
The letter, just a part of our extensive advocacy efforts to stop the proposed cuts, is directed at U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and urges Congress to "help fortify the health care delivery system and ensure long-term recovery" by suspending budget-neutrality requirements in the Social Security Act. Creating this kind of waiver would allow CMS to pursue its goal of increasing payment for evaluation and management codes, known as E/M codes, without being required to offset the cost through cuts to other areas.
The proposed payment cuts, in the form of reductions to many commonly used codes, are potentially devastating for more than three dozen health care providers, with the physical therapy profession facing a potential 8% reduction overall. We've been fighting ever since the proposal was announced, and our efforts have garnered bipartisan support from members of Congress.
The multi-organization letter sent on June 18 urges lawmakers "to recognized that now is not the time to implement any payment policy changes that will exacerbate the financial instability of health care providers' practices." Organizations signed on to the letter include the American College of Radiology, the College of American Pathologists, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Occupational Therapy Association, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the American Health Care Association.
We are committed to doing what's right for patients and the profession by stopping these irresponsible proposed cuts, and we're proud to join so many other important organizations in making our case. Please join us in these efforts.