Tuesday, January 24, 2012

AMA Registers Anger Over Medicare Fee Deadlock

The AMA yesterday called on Congress to end the "fiscally irresponsible" series of temporary patches to the formula the government uses to set physician reimbursement for treating Medicare patients. The influential physician organization sent a letter to a congressional conference committee wrestling with the issue urging an end to the formula, known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. In place of implementing the huge physician fee cuts the SGR calls for—27 percent on March 1—the AMA wants the committee to recommend that Congress use projected spending that will not be needed to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are winding down.

"By eliminating this failed formula once and for all, Congress can stop growing the size of the problem for patients, physicians, and taxpayers," said AMA President Peter Carmel, M.D. Designating the unused war funds "to protect health care for men and women in uniform and our nation's seniors is the fiscally responsible thing to do," he said.

Read much more about the years-long fight to modify or abolish the SGR in Psychiatric News here and here.

(image: Shebeko/Shutterstock.com)


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