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AMA Responds to Proposed Two-Month Medicare Physician Payment Formula Patch

Fiscally Responsible Policy is Repeal of Medicare Physician Payment Formula -- Not More Patches

For immediate release:
Dec. 17, 2011

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

"Waiting until the last week of the legislative session to address a problem that Congress knew was looming all year is not the way to conduct our nation’s business. Seniors and disabled citizens in Medicare, military families served by TRICARE, and the physicians who care for them deserve better from our elected officials. Patients and physicians legitimately fear that Congress will repeat the failure of 2010 when they missed multiple deadlines and Medicare bills went unpaid.

"We strongly commend the bipartisan work by Senators Baucus and Kyl to develop a framework to permanently repeal the universally criticized Medicare physician payment formula and urge all members of Congress to pursue a similar effort. It is time for Congress to act on previous commitments to repeal the failed Medicare physician payment formula. The 12 temporary patches that Congress has applied have raised the cost of solving the problem by more than 500 percent over the last few years and eroded patients' access to care. A permanent solution is the long overdue, fiscally responsible approach."

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Contact:

Brenda Craine
Director, AMA Media Relations
(202) 789-7447
brenda.craine@ama-assn.org

Heather Lasher Todd
AMA Media Relations
202-789-7430
Heather.Lasher.Todd@ama-assn.org

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