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The Medicare physician payment system is on an unsustainable path that has failed to keep up with inflation over the years, threatening patient access to care. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) are actively engaged in preventing steep Medicare payment cuts and preserving patient access to care through the Surgical Care Coalition. The coalition is in year three of its campaign to stop these cuts and implement lasting changes to the physician payment and quality improvement systems.

On Jan. 1, 2023, neurosurgeons face a minimum 8.5% Medicare payment cut, including a nearly 4.5% cut for all Medicare Physician Fee Schedule services and a 4% Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act cut, triggered due to new federal spending. After successfully protecting patients’ timely access to quality surgical care in 2020 and 2021 by securing Congressional action to mitigate proposed cuts to Medicare, the coalition is fighting against similar cuts proposed for 2023. The AANS and the CNS are also working with Congress on long-term solutions to fix these broken systems. To that end, we submitted detailed comments in response to a Congressional request for information.

The people who the proposed cuts will most impact are our patients. Every day, neurosurgeons take care of some of the sickest patients who face painful and life-threatening neurologic conditions. Alexander A. Khalessi, MD, FAANS, John K. Ratliff, MD, FAANS and Maya A. Babu, MD, FAANS, share their experiences as neurosurgeons and how the cuts will impact neurosurgical practices and their patients. The videos are available as follows:

Patient Process

Why I Became a Surgeon

Earning a Patient’s Trust

Medicare Cuts are Back

Patients Deserve Timely, Quality Care

Editor’s Note: We hope you will share what you learn from our posts. We invite you to join the conversation on Twitter by following @Neurosurgery and @SurgeonsCare.

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