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The voices of individual physicians and physician assistants are crucial in informing the decisions made at the state and federal levels.

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The expertise, experience, and perspective of physicians and physician assistants practicing in Washington is crucial to helping to inform our advocacy on your behalf. And, it's often crucial in helping to inform legislators' decision-making on policy being debated at the state and federal levels.

On this page, we'll highlight some of WSMA's top advocacy priorities where lawmakers need to hear from physicians and PAs directly.

Action Alert on Physician Medicare Payment Cuts

Help us turn up the heat on Congress to prevent payment cuts!

Congress has only days left to pass legislation to stave off devastating Medicare payment cuts from regulatory changes enacted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

If Congress fails to act, physician Medicare payments are scheduled to be cut by 4.5% on Jan. 1. Cuts of this magnitude would severely impede patient access to care by forcing many physician practices to close and thereby putting further strain on those that remained open during the pandemic.

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CMS has proposed a 4.5% cut for all physician services in 2023 to offset payment policy improvements in office- and facility-based visits. Compounding matters, physicians are the only practitioners whose Medicare payments do not automatically receive an annual inflationary update. During this time of record inflation and coming on the heels of a highly disruptive pandemic, this statutory flaw amplifies the impact of proposed payment cuts.

When adjusted for inflation, Medicare physician payments have dropped by 22% from 2001 to 2021. Physicians simply cannot afford to operate under the current payment system.

What can you do to help cancel the cuts

  1. Contact your lawmakers through this link and share it with your colleagues:
  2. Share this link with your patients:
  3. Reach out to your member of Congress to schedule a meeting/phone call.

Time is running out - Contact Congress NOW and demand that they protect our patients and practices by canceling these devastating Medicare cuts in their entirety before the clock strikes zero!

Action Alert on Prior Authorization

Physicians complete an average of 41 prior authorizations per week. This unnecessary burden amounts to roughly 13 hours weekly that physicians and their staff must spend on administrative work instead of seeing and treating patients. If an insurance plan covers a treatment that would benefit a patient, physicians should not have to waste time ensuring access to it.

This flawed system must be fixed! Thankfully, the House of Representatives recently passed the bi-partisan Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care, legislation that would require Medicare Advantage plans to adopt transparent prior authorization programs that adhere to evidence-based medical guidelines and hold plans accountable for making timely prior authorization determinations and providing rationales for denials. Now it’s time for the Senate to act.

Senators Marshall, MD (R-KS) and Sinema (D-AZ) have introduced companion legislation, The Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act (S.3018). Like the House bill, this bipartisan legislation would stand up to the big insurance companies and hold them accountable for the undue burden these excessive and unnecessary prior authorizations put on our country's physicians and their patients.

There are only a handful of legislative days left this year to get this legislation over the finish line! Please contact your senators today and urge them to vote YES on the Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act! 

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