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AMA, 130 Medical Organizations Call for Bipartisan Solution to Medicare Physician Payment System

New CMS estimate for upcoming cut is highest ever scheduled at nearly 30 percent

For immediate release:
March 10, 2011

WASHINGTON The AMA was joined by 130 state and medical specialty societies in sending a letter to both the U.S. House and Senate calling for a permanent solution this year to the broken Medicare physician payment formula. The letter was sent on the same day that CMS announced, in a letter to MedPAC, that the cut set to occur on January 1 would be 29.5 percent - the highest ever scheduled.

“The new estimate from CMS should serve as a wake up call to Congress that physicians who serve Medicare and TRICARE patients are facing a debilitating cut of nearly 30 percent on January 1,” said Cecil B. Wilson, M.D., AMA President. “This cut is the highest ever scheduled under the broken Medicare physician payment system, and it threatens access to care for our nation’s seniors, military families, and the baby boomers now entering Medicare.”

In the joint letter, the 131 organizations urged Congress to work in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to enact permanent reform this year. The organizations noted that the cycle of scheduled cuts and frequent short-term delays cause disruptions for patients and physicians. In 2010 alone, Congress acted five times to pass short-term measures to stop scheduled Medicare physician payment cuts.

“The AMA will work with policy-makers on both sides of the aisle to replace the broken Medicare physician payment system with a system that better reflects the costs and practice of 21st century medical care, and provides stability for physicians and their Medicare patients,” Dr. Wilson said.

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Contact:

Heather Lasher Todd
AMA Media Relations
202-789-7430

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