Spanberger Urges U.S. House & U.S. Senate Leadership to Support Virginia Healthcare Providers Amid Flu, RSV Surge
According to the CDC, Virginia Ranks Among Top 10 States with Highest Level of Hospital Visits for Flu, Flu-Like Illnesses
Virginia Physicians and Healthcare Providers Are Scheduled to Receive a More Than Eight Percent Cut to Their Medicare Reimbursements During the Worst of Flu Season
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today urged U.S. House and U.S. Senate leadership to prioritize support for physicians and other healthcare providers in the end-of-year government funding package amid surging cases of respiratory illnesses in Virginia and across the country.
Virginia is experiencing one of the worst surges of flu and flu-like illnesses in the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Virginia ranks among the top 10 states in the country for hospital and clinic visits for respiratory illnesses. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reports that Virginia surpassed last year’s peak a full two months ahead of the typical start to flu season.
If new support is not included in the end-of-year government funding package, Virginia physicians and healthcare providers will receive a more than eight percent cut to their Medicare reimbursements due to expiring legislative provisions and looming budgetary cuts beginning on January 1. Patients and providers across the country would be left in an unstable financial situation, threatening access to care for patients as the surge of influenza worsens.
In a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Spanberger urged leadership to prioritize inclusion of relief from cuts to Medicare reimbursements for Virginia hospitals, urgent care centers, and physician offices in the end-of-year package to fund the government. Additionally, the Congresswoman outlined the consequences for patients and healthcare providers as a result of expiring legislative provisions and looming budgetary cuts if Congress does not act.
“As you continue your work on an end-of-year government funding package, I urge you to prioritize relief from dramatic cuts to Medicare reimbursements for physicians and other healthcare providers on the front line of responding to a surge in respiratory illnesses in Virginia and across the country,” wrote Spanberger. “If Congress does not act, Virginia’s physicians and healthcare providers are scheduled to receive a more than eight percent reduction to their reimbursements during the worst of the flu season.”
Spanberger continued, “These substantial cuts to reimbursements, along with high rates of patients with respiratory illness and ongoing staff shortages, have already put tremendous financial pressure on Virginia’s healthcare providers, especially safety net providers that work in underserved communities. To address this issue, Congress should include in the end-of-year funding bill provisions that will mitigate these cuts, create stability and predictability around physicians’ reimbursements, and protect seniors’ access to care as hospitalization rates surge.”