AAFP Welcomes SGR Repeal Proposal

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2014

Statement attributable to:
Reid Blackwelder, MD  
American Academy of Family Physicians

“We applaud legislation that repeals the flawed Medicare sustainable growth rate formula that has jeopardized the health security of elderly and disabled Americans. For more than a decade, the SGR has threatened our most vulnerable patients’ access to care by requiring drastic cuts in payment for medical services. By ending the annual, bi-annual, monthly, sometimes even bi-monthly cycle of last-minute “fixes” to prevent mandated SGR cuts, Congress will stabilize Medicare and bring peace of mind to their elderly and disabled constituents.

“Moreover, we commend Congress for working to fundamentally change the payment system for health care. Too much money has been wasted paying for duplicated, unnecessary care that does little to improve a patient’s outcome. By establishing alternative payment that supports comprehensive and coordinated care through models such as the patient-centered medical home, this legislation has paved a way for better care and less cost. Multiple studies have shown the PCMH improves the quality of care, reduces preventable hospitalizations and other intensive services, and helps lower the cost to the patient, the community and the health care system.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Blackwelder, contact Leslie Champlin, (800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224, or lchampli@aafp.org.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 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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