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AMA Letter to Senate: Repeal Medicare Payment Formula This Month

For immediate release:
March 5, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter to the U.S. Senate, American Medical Association (AMA) President J. James Rohack, M.D. called on the senators to use this one month delay of the 21 percent Medicare payment cut as time to permanently repeal the broken Medicare physician payment formula.  The letter makes clear that the AMA “cannot support proposals that aim to address only the most imminent threat to payment levels and patient access, with no regard for the future of the Medicare and TRICARE programs. We are opposed to further short-term patches of any duration.”

“Physicians are telling the AMA that the proposed 21 percent cut and the continued instability in the system will force them to limit the number of Medicare patients they can treat, reduce staff and make other tough practice decisions,” said Dr. Rohack. “Permanent repeal of the broken payment formula is the way to ensure security and stability in the Medicare program for seniors who rely on it now, and the baby boomers who begin turning 65 next year.”

“It is time for Congress to finally stop this growing threat to Medicare and TRICARE and move immediately to repeal the SGR formula, replacing it with a system that ensures payments keep pace with the rising costs of the care Medicare beneficiaries and military families need and deserve,” writes Dr. Rohack in the letter.

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Contact:

Katherine Hatwell
AMA Media Relations
202-789-7419

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