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AAFP Statement: Medicare Legislation Helps Avert Potentially Devastating Pay Cut
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 13, 2008
James King, M.D.
American Academy of Family Physicians
The American Academy of Family Physicians appreciates efforts by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to avert the 10.6 percent reduction in Medicare payment to physicians, which is scheduled to go into effect on July 1.
Legislation proposed by Sen. Grassley would prevent this pay cut in 2008 and provide for a 1.1 percent increase in Medicare payment to physicians beginning in 2009.
Such legislation will help ensure that family physicians can continue to care for Medicare beneficiaries without fear of bankruptcy.
Family physicians and their primary care colleagues are the foundation on which America’s health care system rests. Numerous studies have demonstrated that a primary care-based health system improves patient outcomes and contains health costs. Ensuring the continued viability of family physicians and other primary care physicians is integral to successfully crafting health system reform.
We look forward to working with Sen. Grassley on provisions that will reinforce primary care as the foundation of America’s health system.
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.
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