CHICAGO – More than 750 organizations joined the American Medical Association (AMA) today to call on Congress to pass legislation that would permanently eliminate Medicare's flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and strengthen Medicare for America's seniors. In a letter to House and Senate leadership, the groups strongly urged policymakers to pass the bipartisan, bicameral framework developed last year.
“We made significant progress in the previous Congress to find common ground for a Medicare fix that would establish a clear pathway for developing and implementing new health care delivery and payment models that improve quality, coordinate care and reduce costs,” said AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD. “It would be a shame to once again let that solution, which took many months to develop, go to waste.”
The current SGR patch expires on March 31, after which all physicians could face a devastating 21 percent cut in Medicare payments. The looming cuts and repeated cycle of passing expensive legislative patches not only creates uncertainty and unpredictability, it also impedes physicians ability to provide the highest quality care for their patients as part of a sustainable and stable Medicare program. Physicians need the SGR to be permanently eliminated and for the reforms in the policy from last year to be passed to implement innovative health care delivery and payment models, which are already proving successful in reducing costs and increasing access to high-quality care.
"We remain optimistic that our collective voices will make a difference and that Congress will finally act on eliminating the SGR,” said Dr. Wah. "It’s time to end this annual game of kicking the can down the road that is unfair to patients and physicians and wastes taxpayer dollars.”
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