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Medicare Payment Rate Advocacy

Accounting for 12 percent of the total federal budget, Medicare is one of the largest expenditures in the national budget. Under the Medicare Part B program in 2021, payments to RDNs, physicians and other providers totaled $66 billion.

With health care costs on the rise, along with America’s aging population, many efforts have been made to address this issue to maintain solvency for the Medicare Trust Fund without increasing payroll taxes. For providers, these policies have yielded a payment system that is unstable and reduced payment rates (relative to inflation and dollar amount). Compounding this have been large, annual proposed cuts to these payment rates that have coincided with—but were only partially related to—the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Academy has consistently advocated to stop cuts and improve Medicare Part B payment rates for RDNs. This has come in the form of work through coalitions, direct advocacy, and by elevating the voices of dietitians. Understanding how Medicare payment rates are determined and what laws and regulations underlie these rates is crucial to being an informed advocate for the profession.

To learn more about this important issue, read Medicare Part B: History of Payment Rates, Payment Cuts, and Academy Advocacy, an article published in the October 2023 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Medicare Payment Rate Policy and Advocacy Resources

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