Early this month, the Treasury released its annual Medicare Trustees Report, which provides information on the projected financial health and future of the Medicare program. A more concise fact sheet is also available. The cost of the Medicare program is projected to increase in coming years due to the aging of the U.S. population, as well as an anticipated growth in the volume and intensity of services.
The Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, Medicare Part A, will be able to pay scheduled benefits until 2028, at that time total program income will pay 90% of total scheduled benefits. The report urges lawmakers to take actions to resolve the long-term financing shortfalls in Medicare.
Also noteworthy, the report assumes that the pandemic will have no net effect on long-range program cost projections. This is noted to be due to the fact that there is currently no consensus among experts on the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This may change in coming years as the impacts are better understood.
Physician fee schedule reform is a priority advocacy area for AAPM&R. This month, the Academy joined over 100 organizations in endorsing new AMA Medicare Payment System Principles, which can be used as part of our advocacy efforts moving forward.