The American Osteopathic Association will call on CMS to replace the formula that has been responsible for recommended cuts in physicians' Medicare payments the past few years.
A resolution approved by AOA delegates meeting in Chicago last weekend says the AOA "supports the replacement of the current SGR (sustainable growth rate) payment formula with a less volatile formula similar to the approach used for other providers."
In February, Congress changed a planned 4.4% cut in physician fees for this year into a 1.6% increase for physicians, effective March 1, by directing CMS to fix a flawed calculation that helped determine the payment rate.
But Congress has not fixed the actual SGR formula, which includes tying physician payments to changes in the gross domestic product.
If the SGR is not changed, physicians can expect to see a 4.2% cut in 2004, with more cuts expected until 2007, medical societies report.