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Internists express 'very substantial concerns' over MedPAC physician pay proposal
Date:9/23/2011

ing primary care will leave practice," said Dr. Hood.

She also expressed concern that the nearly 17 percent cut for non-primary care physicians "could create significant access problems, without any evidence to justify that such a cut is merited, appropriate, or serves important policy goals. Such physicians would be cut no matter how efficient or inefficient they were, whether their specialty is facing a projected shortage, or whether they practice in a high or low cost area of the country."

"The MedPAC proposal will also unintentionally undermine the goal of transitioning to new payment models by denying primary care physicians the resources to redesign their practices and making it more difficult for subspecialists to invest in new models like the Patient-Centered Medical Home Neighborhood," she said.

In her letter, Dr. Hood said, "ACP recommends that MedPAC consider ACP's recommendations to the Energy and Commerce Committee regarding the stabilization of the SGR, including repealing the SGR and setting the annual update for primary care services at no less than 2 percent and no less than zero for other services over the next five years.

  • Like MedPAC's proposal, ACP would provide a higher update for primary care services, but it would be set at a level that would keep pace with inflation rather than freezing payments for the rest of the decade.

  • By setting the update for all other physician services at no less than zero, the severe access problems and unintended adverse consequences - such as discouraging participation in new delivery models - which we believe would occur under the MedPAC proposal, would be reduced.

  • During this time, new payment and delivery models aligned with value would be developed, pilot-tested and evaluated, and the most effective modes would be selected for broad implementation.

"ACP also urges MedPAC to consider the proposals we submitted to the Joint
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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