I am writing to thank Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., for meeting with me Oct. 25 and pledging to support efforts to provide additional relief from the physician Medicare payment cuts scheduled to take effect in 2024. As a pathologist in Ocean View, I am extremely concerned about the consequences these cuts will have on the ability of pathologists to provide diagnostic care to our community.
Delaware and Maryland pathologists provide thousands of critical tests for patients in Delmarva that determine whether patients are diagnosed with cancer, chronic kidney disease or one of countless other life-changing diseases. Pathologists provide critical information to treating physicians that can have life-or-death consequences for patients. Pathology plays an integral role in diagnosing and understanding diseases. Our work is necessary to guide treatment decisions, track disease progression, support public health and public health emergencies, direct test selection, develop and improve lab tests, and support medical advancements.
In addition, pathologists perform, evaluate and score critical oncology laboratory testing — including tests for cancer genes and other critical cancer tests — that guide the oncologist in selecting appropriate targeted cancer treatment for individual cancer patients.
Therefore, the repercussions of these Medicare payment cuts could have far-reaching consequences for the stability of medical laboratories across our nation and their ability to care for patients.
It is imperative for our community that Congress help mitigate these cuts. This relief will help provide crucial short-term financial stability until permanent, bipartisan payment reforms are enacted.
Dr. Arthur McTighe
Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at email@example.com.