Wednesday, July 11, 2012
This Week's News
This Week's News
Stabilize Medicare for physicians and patients, AMA tells Senate committee
Just six months before Medicare physician payments are scheduled to be cut 27 percent, the AMA's president-elect testified Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee about the need to stabilize Medicare for physicians and patients.
AMA President-Elect Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, shared the AMA's proposed path for restructuring the Medicare payment and delivery system. She said the first step is to start with a clean slate by permanently eliminating the failed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula.
"Congress should then provide a transition period that allows physicians to adopt new health information technology and practice strategies that will let them participate successfully in new care delivery models," Dr. Hoven said.
"The ultimate goal should be to transform the current Medicare system to one with multiple, proven care delivery models that reward high-quality care, rather than the current one-size-fits-all formula," she said.
Watch Dr. Hoven's testimony.
Four other physician leaders also testified at the hearing, including AMA Board of Trustees member Barbara L. McAneny, MD, who presented on behalf of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The hearing was the third in a series about moving Medicare's physician payment system past the crisis resulting from the SGR and into the future.
The first hearing in the series, which took place in May, featured testimony from former administrators of the Medicare program, who provided a close look at the history of Medicare physician payment. Executives of private insurance companies with innovative payment systems testified at the second hearing in June, sharing the lessons they learned in implementing new payment models.