Medicare’s physician fee schedule final rule, released Nov. 1, will reduce the physician pay conversion factor by 4.48 percent to $33.06. 

The conversion factor used to calculate physician reimbursement will decline by $1.55 in 2023. With the 4 percent statutory Pay-As-You-Go sequester, which was implemented to offset congressional spending outside of healthcare, physicians are looking at an 8.5 percent pay cut. 

CMS said the conversion factor accounts for the expiration of the 3 percent supplemental increase in physician fee schedule payments for 2022, as required by the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers From Sequester Cuts Act, and the budget neutrality adjustment for changes in relative value units.

Physician leaders worry the cut will decrease access to care for the Medicare population.

“The rate cuts would create immediate financial instability in the Medicare physician payment system and threaten patient access to Medicare-participating physicians,” Jack Resneck Jr., MD, president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement.”… It was immediately apparent that the 2023 Medicare physician payment rates not only failed to account for inflation in practice costs and COVID-related challenges to practice sustainability but also included the damaging across-the-board reduction.”

Comment by Dr. Gitt: With private practice already threatened for most physicians, this pay cut will further reduce the ability of private practice physicians to compete and keep doors open. We are seeing the  corporate takeover of medicine quickly shrinking the number of private practice physicians. Consider the consequences when your doctor no longer makes decisions on your behalf-rather, decisions are now being made by business people.