‘We are in serious danger of losing local healthcare focus’

Hospitals are rich and poised to get richer while independent physicians and groups continue to take it on the chin, facing ever more onerous pressures to consolidate under the headship of large hospitals, health systems or for-profit practice-management companies.

This trend is to the detriment of all of U.S. healthcare—and if it’s not reversed, the flaws of the lopsided delivery model will be most acutely felt by patients.

So warns RBMA’s Radiology Patient Action Network (RPAN) in a message to Congress shared with the press Nov. 4.

The advocacy group’s plea for reconsideration comes as a response to CMS’s Nov. 1 publication of 2023 final rules for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and (MPFS) and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS).

“While independent and non-hospital based providers across the country now face significant cuts, hospitals will receive increased reimbursements of over $6 billion dollars,” RPAN states, adding that Medicare is already paying hospitals around 60% more than it pays independent doctors.

The widening reimbursement gap, the group adds, “will only lead to more consolidation among healthcare providers, compounding inequities between hospital-based and non-hospital based providers” and “limiting patient access to care.”

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