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Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule Highlights Need for Congressional Action on Physician Payment Formula

For immediate release:
Nov. 1, 2011

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

"The release of the Medicare physician fee schedule rule serves as a reminder to Congress that there is a looming crisis in the Medicare program only they can stop, and the clock is ticking. Without swift action by Congress, on January 1 physicians who care for Medicare patients will be hit with a 27.4 percent cut caused by the broken Medicare physician payment formula.

"Many physicians are already struggling with inadequate Medicare payment rates and the ongoing threat of future cuts from this broken physician payment formula. Payments for Medicare physician services have fallen so far below increases in medical practice costs that there is a 20 percent gap between Medicare payment updates and the cost of caring for seniors. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction must include repeal of the formula in their recommendation to Congress to protect access to care for seniors and stabilize the Medicare program.

"The 2012 Medicare physician fee schedule rule is extremely important for physicians who treat Medicare patients. The AMA will conduct a thorough review of the rule."

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Contact:

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

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