In recent months, you have joined many others in speaking out with us on key family medicine issues, particularly Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. As our nation continues to face financial turmoil, we must speak out again.
Economic policy impacts family medicine
Our message to Congress has been consistent: The habit of passing quick fixes for the SGR has a high cost for the American people as a whole, and, specifically, for family physicians and their patients.
- Congress has spent a total of $146 billion over more than a decade applying short-term patches to this flawed formula.i
- This revenue instability is a stumbling block for family physicians as they try to transform their practices. Current payment policy discourages investments in quality improvement.
- The instability of Medicare payments puts seniors in jeopardy. As more baby boomers become eligible for Medicare, it will be difficult for physicians to provide adequate care because of payment uncertainty.
Speak Out Online
Urge Congress and President Obama to take the appropriate steps to meet obligations to Medicare and Medicaid patients.
"If we can come together on a debt ceiling solution, it's not too much for us to permanently fix and replace the SGR."ii
— Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), chair of Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health
Right now, the SGR situation is evolving daily
We have learned that Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), chair of the Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, believes that an opportunity to replace the Medicare physician payment formula and fix the SGR may be in sight.ii
A stable economy and a fully functioning government are essential to meeting the nation’s promises and obligations to patients who depend on Medicare or Medicaid for their health care. The current debt ceiling crisis is the result of lawmakers' inability to come together and create policies that foster economic stability.
Thank you for taking action today
Please take a few moments to write to your Congressional legislators about this important issue, using the convenient, prewritten Speak Out email provided. Medicare payments and benefits hang in the balance.
Thank you for your continued involvement with this issue. Family medicine advocates like you are invaluable, especially at this crucial moment.
iAAFP staff analysis
iiWilkerson, John. “Brady Says GOP Plan To Briefly Hike Debt Limit Offers Hope For SGR Bill”, Inside Health Policy, October 10, 2013.