United States Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) joined three colleagues to reintroduce the Keep Physicians Serving Patients Act Wednesday.
Stansbury, Reps. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) partnered to reintroduce the legislation which helps ensure seniors in rural America have access to health care providers by adjusting the geographic practice cost index (GPCI) to more accurately portray the costs of practicing medicine in rural areas.
“Seniors in our rural communities — and the physicians that serve them — are on the frontlines of the health care crisis. Rural America, especially in New Mexico, have been left behind,” Stansbury said. “Health care providers are leaving rural areas because of an outdated system that doesn’t accurately calculate reimburse costs, making practicing in rural areas unaffordable for providers. The Keep Physicians Serving Patients Act corrects for this by adjusting the geographic practice cost index (GPCI), assuring that the costs of practicing medicine in rural areas is accurately portrayed and reimbursed to rural providers. I’m happy to join this bipartisan coalition in reintroducing this crucial piece of legislation, which will pave the way to ensure care for our seniors in rural America.”
Currently, Medicare adjusts payments to providers based on GPCI estimates; however, the index consistently underestimates the costs associated with practicing medicine in rural communities. This leads to rural providers receiving lower, less competitive payment than providers practicing in more urban areas. The Keep Physicians Serving Patients Act would set a permanent minimum GCPI to ensure all providers are adequately and fairly compensated for their services.