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ACP urges Congress to 'create solution to endless cycle of medical physician payment cuts'
Date:12/17/2012

(Washington) The American College of Physicians (ACP) today urged Congress to pass legislation that will "create a permanent solution to the endless cycle of Medicare physician payment cuts." Three-page letters were sent to U.S. House and Senate leaders emphasizing that "there is no plausible route to entitlement reform that does not include full repeal of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula."

Representing 133,000 physicians, ACP noted the issue is especially timely and critical. "Congress has a unique opportunity now, in the context of discussions on the 'fiscal cliff' and entitlement reform, to create a clear timetable and policy direction, resulting in permanent SGR repeal no later than next year, accompanied by a transition to value-based payment and delivery system reforms," David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, president of ACP told congressional leaders. "The Medicare SGR formula acts as the greatest single barrier to transition to new approaches to develop new payment and delivery models aligned with value to patients."

Specifically, ACP urged Congress to, "prevent the nearly 30 percent cut in Medicare payments to services provided by physicians that will occur after the first of the year--resulting from sequestration and the SGR formula--AND create a legislative pathway and timetable for permanent repeal of the SGR and transition to value-based payment and delivery models."

A three-step process was offered to bring about a permanent replacement for the SGR:

Step 1: Enact legislation now to stop the scheduled Medicare cut on January 1 that would also provide direction to the Medicare authorizing committees on a policy framework, process, and timetable to report comprehensive legislation to repeal the SGR and transition to value-based payments, followed by

Step 2: Early 2013: authorizing committees would hold hearings, consult with physician membership groups and other stakeholders, and report legisla
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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