Wednesday, January 2, 2013

APA Applauds Medicare Payment Fix, Calls for Long-Term Solution

APA President Dilip Jeste, M.D., issued a statement this afternoon praising Congress for approving revenue legislation that postpones cuts of 27% in Medicare reimbursement to physicians for another year. The cuts were scheduled to go into affect yesterday if Congress failed to enact a postponement. The payment reduction was the result of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, which is calculated each year to determine what the federal government will reimburse physicians for treating Medicare beneficiaries. APA, the AMA, and most other physician organizations have for years lobbied Congress to devise a new way determine Medicare's physician reimbursements, but Congress has responded instead with a series of annual postponements in SGR-mandated cuts rather than coming up with a replacement for the formula.

"This bipartisan agreement is good for the economy, including APA's 33,000 psychiatric physician members and their patients," Jeste said. "A postponement is preferable to a draconian Medicare payment cut, but Congress still needs to pass legislation permanently replacing the SGR itself. We can't just keep kicking the can down the road."


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