[MMA News Now, Feb. 27, 2014] The AMA is encouraging Minnesota physicians to use its toll-free hotline (800-833-6354) to contact and urge their Congress members to support the bills that would eliminate Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula.
H.R. 4015, introduced by Rep. Mike Burgess, M.D., (R-Texas) and S. 2000, introduced by Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), represent the first bipartisan, bicameral legislation to replace SGR.
Congress has only a few weeks to pass the legislation before the scheduled 2014 Medicare physician payment cut of 24 percent takes effect on April 1.
In conjunction with the National Advocacy Conference held in Washington, D.C., next week, the AMA will host a national Congressional call-in on March 5.Physicians are urged to communicate the following:
• SGR is widely acknowledged to be a policy failure. Congress has been forced to intervene 16 times since 2003 to prevent steep payment cuts and preserve seniors’ access to care.
• Now a bipartisan, bicameral process involving three Congressional committees has produced agreement on a new policy framework that repeals the SGR and creates a pathway to a higher-performing Medicare program.
• Repealing the SGR is the fiscally responsible choice. More money has been spent on short-term payment patches that continue supporting this failed policy than it would cost to pass the legislation before Congress today.
• It is time to establish new payment methods that will support the health care delivery systems that Medicare patients and American taxpayers deserve.
• Congress must act before March 31, when the SGR calls for a 24 percent across-the-board cut in Medicare physician payments.
• Tell Congress it is time to pass H.R. 4015/ S. 2000.
For more information, visit www.FixMedicareNow.org.