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Internists issue heartfelt plea for Congress to help patients by stopping Medicare SGR cuts
Date:11/29/2010

elt and effective case on why Congress needs to stop the Medicare SGR cuts."

ACP's state chapter leaders (ACP governors) were asked to record short video messages, that would explain in their own words the impact of the Medicare SGR cuts on their patients, practices, colleagues and communities. The in-house-produced video shows 10 physicians talking about their real-life situations. They are physicians from different parts of the country, many of whom have different specialties and treat different kinds of patients. The physicians, like the patients they treat, are of varying ages and have varying experience in treating chronic conditions.

They all agree that the SGR has a great impact on both their own and their patients' lives.

On Nov. 18, the Senate unanimously approved legislation that would avert the Medicare payment cut scheduled for Dec. 1. House leaders say they anticipate taking up and passing identical legislation this week.

However, the proposed legislation only extends current payment rates for 30 days. It does allow Congress additional time before the end of the year to prevent what would be a 25 percent cut on Jan. 1.

In the late spring of this year, when Congress also "kicked the can down the road" with a temporary fix, Ralston noted that:

"the fact remains that time-and-time again, too many members of Congress from both political parties have refused to support legislation to prevent the cut and provide long-term stability in Medicare.

"They have declined to support legislation to move toward a better and more stable payment system, which could have served as the basis for permanent repeal of the unworkable Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.

"They have withheld their support even though they knew that the result will be to further undermine physicians' and patients' faith in Medicare

"They withheld their support, even though they knew it would introduce chaos into physician practices. Physician
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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