AMA Wire

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012

This Week's News

AMA president: Medicare payment system should focus on quality

AMA president: Medicare payment system should focus on quality

The AMA is calling for a plan to move away from the broken Medicare payment structure toward a program that ensures the best health outcomes for patients and a sustainable practice environment for physicians, AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, writes in a guest column on physician blog KevinMD.com.

Dr. Lazarus notes that physicians and seniors have been telling Congress for years that the Medicare payment system needs to be fixed for the long term. While Congress has repeatedly issued short-term delays to Medicare cuts, congressional leaders now are asking physicians for ideas on transitioning to a physician payment system that provides long-term stability and supports high-quality care.

Last month, the AMA and more than 100 state and specialty medical associations submitted principles and core elements that provide a framework to help Congress make this transition. The principles stress the importance of investing in and supporting physicians and their practice infrastructure to successfully implement delivery and payment reforms.

"Instead of a roller-coaster future of short-lived interventions," Dr. Lazarus writes, "the AMA is ready to work with our elected leaders on a system that emphasizes quality innovations for patients and reduces costs so Medicare will be there for seniors now and in the future."