Dozens of medical organizationsincluding the American Medical Association and Medical Group Management Associationare calling on federal lawmakers to repeal Medicares sustainable growth-rate formula and enact other payment reforms.
In joint recommendations sent to Congress, the Obama administration and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, some 60 organizations asked that the SGR be eliminated and replaced with a system that reflects increases in physicians and other health professionals practice costs.
The SGR is based on the health of the economy and has been threatening cuts to physician payments for at least six years. Physicians in 2010 face a 21% cut to their Medicare payments unless Congress intervenes.
If Congress is unable to repeal the SGR this year, then Congress and the White House should adopt a transitional approach that links payments to the Medicare Economic Index for five years, the groups recommended.
Similar recommendations to the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees staffs were released by primary-care groups the American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians and American Osteopathic Association.
Specifically, these groups called on Congress to direct HHS to make Medicare payments for primary care competitive in the market with other specialties within five years.