Tuesday, September 20, 2011

APA Urges Members to Contact Congress About Medicare Fees

President Obama and a "supercommittee" in Congress, both looking for massive savings to reduce the national debt, have indicated that health programs like Medicare and Medicaid cannot be considered immune from cutbacks. One potential target that has been cited is physician payment under the Medicare program, with such payment rates scheduled to be slashed by almost 30 percent on January 1. APA and its partners in a coalition of national medical organizations are calling on physicians to take action to convince Congress that such a massive reimbursement cut will have devastating consequences for care of Medicare beneficiaries. APA sent out an alert on September 20, urging its members to contact their senators and representatives to call for the repeal of the sustainable growth rate formula (SGR), the tool the government uses to determine Medicare fees, and which has led to the huge looming cuts.

Members can send a message to their members of Congress at http://ama.capwiz.com/ama/issues/alert/?alertid=53132696 or connect through APA's toll-free hotline at (866) 727-4894.

Psychiatric News has provided extensive coverage of the problems with the SGR formula and attempts to convince Congress to repeal it. See http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/6/4.1.full and http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/16/1.2.full.

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