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AMA News Room

April 10, 2013

AMA Pleased President’s Budget Includes Moving to Accountable Payment Models in Medicare

For immediate release:
April 10, 2013

Statetment attributable to:
Jeremy Lazarus, MD
President, American Medical Association

"We are pleased that President Obama's 2014 budget recognizes the need to eliminate the broken Medicare physician payment formula known as the SGR and move toward new ways of delivering and paying for care that reward quality and reduce costs. The president's proposals align with many of the principles developed by the AMA and 110 other physician organizations on transitioning Medicare to include an array of accountable payment models. It is critical for physicians to have a period of stability and the flexibility to choose options that will help them lower costs and improve the quality of care for their patients. We are encouraged that the president and members of Congress are focused this year on eliminating this failed formula and strengthening Medicare for patients now and in the future.

"While eliminating the SGR would be a step forward, the budget takes a step backwards by aiming to achieve more savings through the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which would set another arbitrary spending target and rely solely on payment cuts to reach it. The AMA strongly supports bipartisan proposals to eliminate this panel.

"We are also concerned with other proposals in the president's budget, including cuts to graduate medical education (GME) programs known as residencies. In 2013, 528 U.S. medical school seniors failed to match to a residency program. As the nation deals with a physician shortage, it is important that all medical students can complete their training and care for patients.

"The AMA is pleased that the president's budget includes funding for expanding mental health services, identifying mental illness in children and researching the causes and prevention of gun violence in our country, and that it would expand the availability of Medicare data for physicians."

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Heather Lasher Todd
AMA Media Relations


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