IDSA President, Johan Bakken, MD, FIDSA with Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN)
Despite the vital contributions ID physicians make to patient care, research and public health, their work continues to be undervalued. As you're likely aware, over 90% of the care provided by ID physicians is considered evaluation and management (E&M). These face-to-face encounters and post-encounter work are undervalued by current payment systems that much more generously reward procedures. This has created a significant compensation disparity between ID physicians and specialists who provide more procedure-based care, as well as primary care physicians who provide similar or identical E&M services but who have received payment increases simply because of their specialty enrollment designations as "primary care physicians." These salary concerns are contributing to an alarming decline in the number of physicians entering the field of ID. IDSA is urging Congress to instruct the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to undertake research necessary to develop new E&M codes that more precisely describe the work in physician-patient encounters and allow for a more appropriate valuation of these services.
IDSA President Johan Bakken and other Board members visited Capitol Hill last week to discuss the value of the ID physician and other issues. We need your help to raise this as a priority issue for your representative and senators. In just 3 minutes, you can send a message to your representative and senators using the IDSA Action Center!
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