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Statement from Terrence A. Cronin Jr., MD, FAAD, President of the American Academy of Dermatology Association
WASHINGTON (Nov. 2, 2023) — CMS finalized cuts to the physician fee schedule for 2024, which will impact the ability of medical practices to cover expenses like equipment, rent, and nursing and office staff salaries. Put plainly, our ability to care for our patients is threatened, putting patients at risk of more hospitalizations for untreated illnesses and chronic conditions.
As a dermatologist, I see terrible diseases from patients who need immediate attention, otherwise their prognosis can be fatal. If these cuts are allowed to continue, access to their care is threatened.
Medicare finalized a cut of nearly 3.4% in payment for physician services in 2024. For dermatologists, the proposed Medicare cut would affect access to critical skin cancer treatment. Approximately 9,500 people in the United States are diagnosed with this cancer every day.
At the same time, CMS finalized an increase for hospital outpatient services of 3.1%.
These cuts to Medicare physician payments, which have occurred over the past 2 years, arise from a complex set of budgetary rules and systemic flaws in the requirements that, unless addressed, will continue to threaten physicians’ ability to provide care. These include the budget-neutrality requirement for Medicare mandating that any increase for certain physician services must be balanced by cuts elsewhere.
The 2024 Medicare cuts illustrate physicians’ long-time frustration with Medicare. While hospitals and other providers routinely receive inflation-adjusted rates, physicians are facing real payment cuts. The failure of Medicare physician payments to keep up with inflation is the greatest threat to maintaining seniors’ access to care.
The AADA calls on Congress to stop these Medicare cuts before more patients will suffer.
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Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 20,800 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical, and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair, and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care because skin, hair, and nail conditions can have a serious impact on your health and well-being. For more information, contact the AAD at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or aad.org. Follow @AADskin on Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest and YouTube and @AADskin1 on Instagram.