Physicians are bracing for an 8.42 percent drop in CMS payment rates in 2023 and many medical groups are considering limiting the number of new Medicare patients or reducing charity care as a result, according to the Medical Group Management Association.
The proposed cuts are projected to significantly disrupt access to care, practice operations and investment throughout the healthcare industry. If implemented, here are the top five practice trends that will occur, according to MGMA:
1. Reducing or eliminating the number of Medicare beneficiaries served.
2. Projected delays in scheduling care, resulting in up to six months' wait for visits.
3. Decreased ability to recruit staff at all levels, including physicians, clinical support staff and administrative staff, especially in rural areas.
4. Reduced participation in value-based contracts as limited resources and revenue divert away from nonessential practice activities.
5. Closing satellite offices or selling the practice due to insufficient revenue streams.
The projected Medicare cuts will also affect Medicaid and private payer rates, which are often contracted as a percent of Medicare rates, according to the MGMA. As Medicare reimbursement declines, practices will likely see a decrease in operating revenues, which will further reduce their ability to provide timely, high-quality care to patients.