Fair Medicare reimbursement is of great concern of physicians today. During the past few years, the SGR has called for damaging cuts to physician payments. Each year, however, Congress has placed a temporary fix on the scheduled cuts.
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Explore This IssueJuly 2007
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The payment cut for 2008 is scheduled to be 10%. This would be the most devastating cut to date for all practicing physicians. Therefore, the ACR, along with the American Medical Association (AMA) and 85 other physician and health professional organizations, recently signed a letter to Congress that includes these recommendations for 2007 Medicare SGR legislation:
1. The SGR should be repealed and replaced with an updated system that reflects increases in physicians’ and other health professionals’ practice costs.
2. Congress should support initiatives by organizations representing physicians and other health professionals to bridge gaps in care and ensure appropriateness of services provided to Medicare beneficiaries.
3. If immediate action is not possible, Congress must:
- Establish by law a transition plan and completion date for eliminating the SGR;
- Provide positive physician/health professional updates by statutes for each year until the repeal takes place;
- Stabilize payments for a minimum of two years;
- Fully fund the positive updates; and
- Urge the administration to removed physician-administered drugs from the SGR and make other refinements.
4. The transitional 2007 Medicare Physicians Quality Reporting Initiative should be re-examined before being expanded in future years.
Band-aids to SGR are not enough; there must be a legislative fix. Finding a fair solution to the Medicare reimbursement payment issue is a top legislative priority of the ACR, and it will continue working collaboratively with the AMA and other physician and health professional groups and utilizing its grassroots network to ensure fair reimbursements for physicians in the future. Contact your congressional representatives today and voice your support for these recommendations.