MedPAC Considers Medicare Payment Cuts for Specialists
Officials from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent Congressional advisory committee, today said MedPAC is considering recommending that physicians, along with hospitals, pharmaceuticals and Medicare Advantage, pay the more than $300 billion cost to repeal the SGR. If adopted by Congress, this funding plan would freeze Medicare payments to primary-care physicians at their current rate and cut Medicare payments to specialists by 18 percent, spread over three years. In the past, MedPAC said cuts of this magnitude would result in serious access problems for Medicare beneficiaries, and instead recommended small, positive payment increases for physicians. MedPAC will present its recommendations to Congress in October.

Medical Associations to Congress: Pass Medicare Physician-Pay Fix Now!
The Academy has joined a coalition of other medical associations in an American Medical Association (AMA) grassroots campaign calling for a permanent Medicare physician pay fix. The coalition is advocating for repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that is used to update Medicare physician pay. Physicians are scheduled for a 30 percent Medicare pay cut on Jan. 1, unless Congress intervenes. The coalition is urging the new joint House and Senate committee, charged with recommending $1.2 trillion in federal deficit savings, to include a permanent SGR fix in its plan. Congressional leaders are not commenting, or are pessimistic that the committee will include the more than $300 billion fix in its recommendations. The coalition, however, pointed out that every significant Congressional budget proposal has included replacing the SGR formula in its comprehensive deficit reduction plan. Continue reading on the AAO Eye on Advocacy blog at  www.aao.org


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