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ACP applauds introduction of bipartisan bill to eliminate Medicare SGR formula
Date:2/6/2013

WashingtonThe American College of Physicians (ACP) today applauded Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) for their bipartisan introduction of The Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act of 2013 this morning.

The bill is designed to eliminate the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and the turmoil brought by its resulting scheduled cuts. The SGR cuts threaten to drive physicians out of the Medicare and TriCare programs, creating severe access problems for seniors, disabled persons, and military families. (TriCare updates are set by the Medicare SGR formula, so military families are at the same risk of losing access to doctors because of the scheduled cuts as persons enrolled in Medicare). The legislation stabilizes payments for six years, provides higher updates for undervalued primary and coordinated care services, and creates a pathway to new physician payment models that would better align payment with value to patients.

"Over the past decade, the repeated threat of cuts to physician payments resulting from the SGR have brought chaos to the practice environment," said Charles Cutler, MD, FACP, chair-elect of the ACP board of regents. "It is difficult for physicians to keep their doors open, especially for our members in small or solo practices, with the constant threat of Medicare payments being cut by 25 percent or more."

Every year since 2001, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, which is used to determine payments for physicians' services under Medicare, has threatened to impose steep cuts in Medicare payments for care provided to America's seniors. While Congress typically acts to avert payment reductions, the average Medicare payment rate this year is essentially the same as it was in 2001. By consistently postponing the cuts, Congress has dug a hole that has grown to hundreds of billions of dollars. Unless Congress acts to fix this flawed payment formula, doctors will face a projected cut
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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