Hosted by Thomas K. Varghese Jr., MD, MS, the “Beyond the Abstract” program explores the “whys” behind articles in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and discusses next steps with authors and thought leaders. In the latest episode, Alan M. Speir, MD, joins Dr. Varghese to discuss “easily one of the biggest issues that impacts the care of cardiothoracic surgical patients today”—the Medicare reimbursement cuts. In December 2020, Congress approved legislation that prevented the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from implementing the cuts. But what was happening—much behind the scenes—to help earn this major victory for cardiothoracic surgeons and their patients? Dr. Varghese and Dr. Speir take a deep dive into this topic, covering the potential rationale for the “Draconian” cuts in reimbursement and the details of the close coordination and collaboration with other surgical societies that helped make a difference. Dr. Speir also shares his thoughts on future advocacy efforts. Read the related Annals article online: STS Advocacy Concerning CMS Reduction in the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule to Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons.
June 4, 2021