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September 3, 2020

CardioVascular Coalition Urges Congress to Support Limb Loss Prevention and Block Proposed Medicare Cuts

September 3, 2020—CardioVascular Coalition (CVC) announced it is urging Congress to support policies to improve peripheral artery disease (PAD) screening, diagnoses, and treatment to reduce lower limb amputations in recognition of PAD Awareness Month.

Specifically, CVC is asking Congress to advance legislation to block planned Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) payment cuts to specialty providers in 2021.

According to the CVC announcement, the CMS Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule for 2021 would cut payments to specialty providers, including vascular surgery by 7%, cardiac surgery by 9%, and interventional radiology by 9%.

CVC is petitioning Congress to mitigate these cuts by ensuring Medicare waives the budget neutrality requirements for the evaluation and management (E/M) codes scheduled for implementation on January 1, 2021, in any relevant or upcoming legislation.

“As we recognize PAD Awareness Month this September, we urge policymakers to stop these harmful payment cuts to the specialty providers who screen, diagnose, and perform interventional care to prevent limb loss,” commented Jeffrey Carr, MD, in the CVC announcement. “CMS should not proceed with any specialty provider cuts while we are in the middle of a public health crisis. Doing so will be harmful to both vulnerable older Americans and their health care providers.” Dr. Carr is the Founding and Past President of the Outpatient Endovascular and Interventional Society and a member of the CVC.

CVC noted the support of a group of 93 House lawmakers who sent a letter on August 11 to the House of Representatives leadership asking them to waive budget neutrality in any relevant or upcoming legislation for calendar years 2021 and 2022 for the E/M codes scheduled for implementation on January 1, 2021. The CVC also applauded the efforts of the Congressional PAD Caucus, chaired by Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).

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