Blackburn, Thune, Barrasso, Stabenow, Warner, Cortez Masto Announce Formation Of Medicare Payment Reform Working Group

February 9, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today announced the formation of a Medicare payment reform working group. The primary goal of this group is to investigate and propose long-term reforms to the physician fee schedule (PFS) and make necessary updates to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

To Interested Parties:

As the health care system has evolved since the inception of the Medicare program, the physician payment system has failed to keep pace with the actual cost of care and the improvements in new services and technologies. Medicare Part B is a lifeline for tens of millions of Americans, covering a wide array of services, including primary and outpatient care, preventive services, durable medical equipment, and more. Despite efforts like the 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which made significant strides towards a value-based payment system, further action is needed to address reimbursement challenges and shift toward a system that aligns payment incentives with patient outcomes.

We believe Congress must make changes to the current Medicare physician payment system to ensure financial stability for providers, improve patient outcomes, promote access to quality care, and incentivize the utilization of emerging health care technology. Today, we are beginning work as a bipartisan working group to help achieve these goals and put Medicare on a sustainable path for the future. This working group is committed to exploring and proposing policy solutions for stable physician payments and necessary updates to MACRA, ensuring sustained access to quality care for patients. We will be reaching out to stakeholders in the coming weeks to seek feedback and to begin developing policies that will address Medicare physician payment for the long-term.