Bucshon proposes bipartisan bill to defer scheduled Medicare physician pay cuts

America’s physicians responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and facing scheduled Medicare payment cuts next year would receive federal relief under a bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN). 

“Doctors are the heroes keeping our families safe during these uncertain times. Cutting their pay now as they care for our loved ones is disheartening and not appropriate,” Rep. Bucshon said. “No doctor should have to worry about large pay cuts while they work to get back on their feet as they continue caring for patients and battling COVID-19 on the front lines.” 

Rep. Bucshon on Oct. 30 led six other original cosponsors in introducing the Holding Providers Harmless From Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act of 2020, H.R. 8702, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), to ensure payments to these providers are held stable at 2020 levels for the next two years.

“As an internal medicine doctor by training, I was glad the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services increased payments for the critical work primary care and other physicians do to keep patients healthy and manage their chronic conditions,” said Rep. Bera. “But cutting payments for other physicians during the middle of a global pandemic will further strain our healthcare system and the ability for healthcare professionals to serve their patients.”

Specifically, for those providers seeing a payment cut in 2021, the bill would provide a temporary additional payment in the amount of the difference between 2020 and 2021 for two years, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.

The measure is supported by the American College of Surgeons, the American Physical Therapy Association, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors.

“I want to thank Representative Bera for working with me on this practical, commonsense legislation that will hold doctors harmless and stave off pay cuts as they continue to be the heroes we need during these challenging times,” Rep. Bucshon said.