In December 2020, Congress approved a year-end package that prevented the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from implementing steep Medicare reimbursement cuts. This was a major victory for cardiothoracic surgeons and their patients, but the fight continues as surgeons are facing another round of cuts in January 2022. 

CMS is moving forward with proposed cuts to cardiothoracic surgery reimbursement of nearly 5%—on top of cuts already implemented last year during the pandemic. The agency announced these plans in its proposed Physician Fee Schedule released in July 2021. Without a permanent fix, the specialty, and more importantly, patient access to surgical services, are at risk.

Your voice is our most powerful tool to fight these cuts. Take action and sign up for the STS Virtual Advocacy Conference on September 28-29. For more information, contact the STS Government Relations team at

Last year’s victory was due in part to the actions of the Surgical Care Coalition (STS is a founding member). Together, we launched a successful multifaceted campaign to make lawmakers and the public aware of the value of surgeons and how planned Medicare cuts will hurt patients. The Surgical Care Coalition advocates for access to quality surgical care for all Americans. The Coalition’s current advocacy effort is focused on the pending cuts to surgical care proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Click here to learn more.

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