AAFP Statement: Passage of Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act Will Stabilize Access to Care for America’s Elderly and Disabled

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Statement attributable to:
Lori Heim, MD
American Academy of Family Physicians

“Elderly and disabled Americans have scored a victory with the House passage of the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act (HR 3961).

“This legislation will help create stability within the Medicare physician payment system and reduce physicians’ annual uncertainty of whether their medical practices can afford to continue accepting Medicare beneficiaries.

“By replacing the flawed formula on which Medicare physician payment is now based with a system that more appropriately pays for patient evaluation and management services, HR 3961 promotes comprehensive, coordinated care that’s been shown to improve patients’ health and help rein in costs.

“This legislation builds a good foundation on which comprehensive, meaningful and sustainable health care reform can be built and assures Medicare patients that they will get the care they need, when they need it, from the most appropriate physician.”

Editor’s note: To arrange an interview with Lori Heim, MD, contact Leslie Champlin at 800-274-2237, Ext. 5224, or lchampli@aafp.org.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited 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(familydoctor.org).