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AAFP Joins AMA, Other Groups in Calling on Deficit-reduction Committee to Repeal SGR
By News Staff
Meanwhile, physicians face a nearly 30 percent reduction in the Medicare physician payment rate based on the SGR on Jan. 1 unless Congress acts to block the cut. If the cut goes into effect, access to care for the nation's senior and disabled citizens would be threatened, according to the letter.
- The AAFP has signed on to an AMA letter that calls on Congress' Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to include a full repeal of the Medicare sustainable growth rate, or SGR, in its recommendations.
- The letter points out that physicians face a nearly 30 percent reduction in the Medicare physician payment rate under the SGR on Jan. 1 unless Congress acts to block the cut.
- The Academy also is supporting a Web-based advocacy campaign dubbed EveryPatientCounts.org that allows physicians, patients, health care administrators and concerned citizens to sign an online petition calling on Congress to repeal the SGR.
End the Need for Last-minute Reprieves
"This SGR deficit is being kept 'off the books,' which is inconsistent with accurate budget practices," says the letter. "In fact, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have stated that the current law baseline does not reflect the policies that Congress has operated by in recent years. Any effort to stabilize our nation's finances must be based on a true assessment of future expenditures."
The letter also notes that "continued delay in replacing the SGR has escalated the cost of permanent payment reform from $48 billion in 2005 to nearly $300 billion today."
"We estimate additional short-term interventions will double the cost to approximately $600 billion by 2016," the letter adds.
"Other groups that have examined and proposed solutions to the nation's budget crisis -- including the Simpson-Bowles Commission, the Senate Gang of Six, American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation and the Center for American Progress -- all acknowledged that the nation cannot continue to ignore the SGR deficit.
"These proposals called for permanent reform of the Medicare physician payment system while at the same time significantly reducing the federal budget deficit," the letter says.
"Seize This Opportunity," Urges Online Petition
Finding a solution to the SGR problem will not be easy, the petition acknowledges.
"But we believe there are appropriate options that promote quality and preserve access to care for current and future generations of beneficiaries," the petition says. "We urge you to seize this opportunity."
AAFP Joins AMA, Other Groups in Calling for SGR Repeal