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AMA Statement on Schwartz Proposal to Fix Medicare Physician Payment Problem

For immediate release:
Nov. 16, 2011

Statement attributable to:
Peter W. Carmel, MD
President, American Medical Association

“The AMA appreciates the bipartisan leadership that Rep. Schwartz has shown in working to address the failed Medicare physician payment formula. Her stance that failure to address the Medicare physician payment issue would mean ignoring a major fiscal challenge facing our nation is a critical call to action for the Joint Congressional Committee on Deficit Reduction.

“Many aspects of the latest proposal by Rep. Schwartz align with the AMA’s call for transitioning to a new Medicare payment system focused on quality improvement and cost-effective care.  Repealing the current Medicare physician payment formula and providing a period of stable payments, while we test and transition to new payment and delivery models, follows the general framework supported by the AMA and many state and national medical societies. We also agree with the need to provide incentives that encourage physicians to participate in new payment models.

“While we applaud Rep. Schwartz’s general framework, we cannot support the proposal’s outline for future updates and penalties given the workflow changes and investments we expect will be required from physicians. There is also uncertainty about the broad availability and applicability of new payment models across the full range of medical specialties and practice settings.

“We applaud Rep. Schwartz’s leadership and commitment to addressing this Medicare problem, and we look forward to working with her to keep Medicare stable and viable for this generation of seniors and generations to come.”

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Contact:

Brenda L. Craine
Director, AMA Media Relations
(202) 789-7447

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