A comprehensive new national survey conducted by the Radiology Business Management Association’s Radiology Patient Action Network (RPAN) and the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) indicates strong opposition among Americans to proposed cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates for healthcare providers. 

The poll found that 76% of respondents disagreed with reducing payments to doctors and other healthcare providers for Medicare services. Additionally, 53% agreed that cutting payments to providers is equivalent to cutting Medicare itself. 49% were extremely concerned and 31% were somewhat concerned about potential reimbursement cuts to doctors.

“This data clearly shows that the American people do not support cuts to Medicare providers that could reduce access to quality care,” says Bob Still, executive director of RPAN. “We urge Congress and the Administration to listen to the people and reconsider these proposed reimbursement reductions that could seriously impact patient care across the country.”

There was also overwhelming opposition to paying healthcare providers less for imaging services like mammograms, with 74% disagreeing with proposed cuts. Approximately 73% agreed that the government should be investing more in lifesaving diagnostic imaging. 

“Cutting reimbursements now would only further damage providers that are still recovering from COVID-19,” adds Patrick Hope, executive director of MITA. “Ensuring adequate funding for imaging services that detect diseases early and save lives needs to remain a top priority.”

The principle of healthcare equity also resonated strongly. About 76% believed that all Americans deserve access to optimal healthcare regardless of non-medical factors. Many had experienced barriers to imaging care over the past two years.

“Lawmakers need to keep equity in mind and avoid changes that might impede access,” says Still. “Investing in critical services while promoting healthcare equity should be priority No.1.”

The wide-ranging poll was conducted from October 11-13 among 1,200 Americans. It has a +/- 2.8 percentage point margin of error. RPAN and MITA urge Congress and the Administration to fully consider public opinion and avoid imposing cuts that could hurt healthcare providers and Medicare patients. Investing in critical services like diagnostic imaging while promoting healthcare equity should be central aims of policymakers.