POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS OF DEBT CEILING DEBATE FOR MEDICAL GROUPS
On May 15, the United States Department of Treasury notified Congress that it would not be able to finance the government's obligations as early as June 1 if legislators do not raise or suspend the $34.1 trillion debt limit. The Administration and Congress are continuing to negotiate to prevent the federal government from defaulting on its agreements. Given the unprecedented nature of a default, it is unclear what federal payments will be prioritized although medical group practices could see delays or cuts to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements within a few days of default.
As we approach the estimated default date, MGMA Government Affairs will continue to provide timely information on the implications of default to medical group practices.
CMS UPDATES TELEHEALTH GUIDANCE FOR VARIOUS SERVICES IN FACILITY-BASED SETTINGS
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an updated FAQ on waivers, flexibilities, and the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). CMS states in the document that it will exercise enforcement discretion to continue paying for telehealth services offered by physical therapists (PT), occupational therapists (OT), and speech-language pathologists (SLP) in facility-based settings.
The agency updated its position on covering telehealth for PT, OT, and SPT after receiving numerous inquiries from providers and healthcare organizations. Telehealth services are allowed from hospital outpatient departments, rehabilitation agencies, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies. Providers should continue to furnish services and bill the same way they have been during the PHE according to the FAQ.
MGMA WRITES CONGRESS IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION TO EXPAND PHYSICIAN WORKFORCE
MGMA joined a coalition of nearly 80 healthcare organizations in sending a letter of support to the congressional Senate sponsors of the Resident Physicians Shortage Reduction Act of 2023. This bipartisan bill would create 14,000 additional Medicare-supported Graduate Medical Education (GME) positions over the next seven years. This legislation would help address the projected shortage of up to 124,000 primary care and specialty physicians by 2034, and build upon the 1,200 slots Congress added over the past few years.
Contact your members of Congress today to express your support for expanding the physician workforce.