Washington, January 28, 2010 The American College of Physicians (ACP) today urged Congressional leaders to "reach agreement on a legislative pathway to provide affordable care to all Americans and ensure that they have access to primary care physicians and other specialties facing shortages."
In a letter to key legislators, ACP President Joseph W. Stubbs, MD, FACP, said: "We agree with the President that Congress must complete the task of enacting comprehensive health reform legislation consistent with the above priorities. The bills passed by the House and Senate advance many of the elements needed to achieve a sustainable, affordable and high quality health care system for all Americans."
"We also are aware that Congress now is considering a number of options to move health reform legislation forward in a way that would build upon but improve the existing bills," Dr. Stubbs continued as he urged adoption of five ACP priorities:
Without the above policies, the United States will experience a catastrophic shortage of primary care physicians, resulting in longer waits for appointments, delays in getting needed care, over-crowded emergency rooms, and overall, higher costs and poorer outcomes of care. Providing Americans with health insurance coverage, although essential, will not ensure that patients have access to care in the absence of policies to increase the numbers of primary care physicians and other specialties facing shortages.
The fifth item on the list of ACP priorities concerns a policy that unless changed before March 1 will result in a 22 percent cut to Medicare physician fee reimbursements.
"In conclusion," Dr. Stubbs said, "ACP reaffirms our commitment to helping Congress achieve a final agreement on comprehensive health reform legislation to provide all Americans with access to affordable coverage, ensure a sufficient supply of primary care physicians and other specialties facing shortages, pilot-test innovative payment and delivery models, reform the medical liability system, and put an permanent end to Medicare SGR cuts."
|Contact: David Kinsman|
American College of Physicians