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Congress must 'go big' on physician payment reform
Date:11/3/2011

to transition over several years to the most effective models following the period of voluntary adoption and evaluation.

The need for a permanent physician payment solution, the ACP notes, has broad and deep bipartisan support. Today, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said "the pattern of threatened SGR cuts and last-minute Congressional rescues is in itself not a sustainable solution and must be remedied." On October 25, Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) wrote to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, urging "a full repeal of the SGR formula . . . to be paired with provisions outlining a clear path forward to comprehensive reform." On October 6, Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) and 113 Members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter urging the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to recommend repealof the SGR. On March 28, 2011, House Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) and ranking Democrat Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote, "Unless we begin the process of developing a long-term solution, we will once again be faced with the unwanted choice of extending a fundamentally broken payment system or jeopardizing access for Medicare beneficiaries. We cannot allow either to happen." And both the bipartisan Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and the Senate "Gang of Six" deficit reduction proposals also called for permanent reform of physician payments.

ACP agreesnow is the time for the 112th Congress to accomplish something historic that none of its predecessors could do: reach bipartisan agreement, as part of its deficit reduction plan, on a permanent solution to the SGR paired with transition to a better payment system.

Finally, the American College of Physicians noted that in September it provided the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction with a comprehensive list of options to reduce federal health care spending in
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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