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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Thursday, November 19, 2009

Statement attributable to:
Lori Heim, MD
President
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 American Academy of Family Physicians represents 131,400 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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