A bipartisan plan to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula is a good start but still needs work, the Texas Medical Association and eight other states in the Coalition of State Medical Societies say in a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee.
"Another patch, another 'doc fix,' is not acceptable," the coalition added in a follow-up memo to Congress.
TMA physician leaders and physicians from other coalition-member states spent several days in November meeting with senators and representatives from both parties, stressing mostly Medicare payment reform.
The coalition, which represents 158,500 physicians and medical students in Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina, said in the letter that it supports five components of proposed legislation to "establish new payment systems that will help physicians keep their doors open to baby boomers and future Medicare patients":
- Repeal the flawed Medicare SGR formula.
- Retain a fee-for-service program.
- Streamline current reporting programs and eliminate the current penalties related to the Physician Quality Reporting System, meaningful use, and the value-based modifier (VMB).
- Pay for complex chronic care management, and
- Provide timely performance feedback for physicians.
Tell Congress Another "Doc Fix" Is Not Acceptable
If Congress doesn’t act soon, physicians who care for Medicare patients will see a 24-percent cut to their payments Jan. 1, 2014. You must act now to stop the huge cut. Join your colleagues from eight other state medical societies today and call Congress. Tell Congress no more patches — now is the time to fix the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula Medicare uses to pay physicians. Now is the time to fix Medicare.
Please join your colleagues today. Contact Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and your U.S. representative Share your personal story of what a decade of threatened cuts have meant to your practice. Explain how you had to lay off staff, stop treating Medicare and/or Medicaid patients, or limit the number of Medicare and/or Medicaid patients you see due to the continued uncertainty. Tell them how the continued cuts and increased bureaucratic red tape is making it harder and harder for you to see patients. Use the TMA Grassroots Action Center for talking points and an easy way to email Senators Cornyn and Cruz and your representative.
Use the TMA Grassroots Action Center for talking points and an easy way to email Senators Cornyn and Cruz and your representative.
For more information
Medicare Advocacy: Current information on what actions Congress is taking or not taking to fix Medicare.
Medicare Meltdown Fact Sheet
Grandma and the Big Bad SGR!
To illustrate the impact Medicare fee cuts could have on patients in terms even a child can understand, TMA produced the "Grandma and the Big, Bad SGR" video. Feel free to share the video with your members of Congress, colleagues, friends, family, patients, and staff.
- Medicare Payments Frozen for Another Year (Action Special Issue, Jan. 2, 2013)
- Drop in Physician Acceptance of Medicaid, Medicare Patients - TMA News Release, July 9, 2012
- New Billing/Coding System: A Waste of Time and Money - TMA Statement, April 24, 2012
- TMA Statement: Medicare "Doc Fix' Fixes Nothing - TMA Statement, Feb. 17, 2012
- TMA Survey: Physicians Confused and Anxious - TMA News Release, Feb. 28, 2011
- Seniors Face Medicare Meltdown, Again - TMA Statement, Feb. 13, 2011
- Acceso a médicos a través de Medicare en peligro - TMA Statement, Feb. 13, 2011
- Congress Heads Home With a Lump of Coal for Medicare Patients - TMA Statement, Dec. 21, 2011
- Quit Playing Politics With Medicare Patient’s Health - TMA News Release, Dec. 16, 2011
- Doctors Angry as Medicare Meltdown Looms - TMA Statement, Dec. 1, 2011
- Will Congress Deny Health Care to Military Families? - TMA News Release, Nov. 1, 2011
- Medicare Meltdown Forces Physicians Out of Medicare - TMA News Release, Oct. 6, 2011
- Deficit Cuts Must Include Medicare Reform - Action, July 5, 2011)
- TMA: Congress Stopped the Bleeding but Medicare’s Still on Life Support - TMA Statement, June 24, 2010
- Texas doctors opting out of Medicare at alarming rate, - Houston Chronicle, May 17, 2010)
- Congress Takes Vacation With Medicare Cuts Pending
- Physicians and Patients Unite Across the U.S. to Stop the Medicare Meltdown - TMA News Release
- Congress Allows Medicare Meltdown to Happen - TMA News Release, Feb. 26, 2010
- Doctors both locally and nationally fearful of consequences of Medicare cuts - Waco Tribune-Herald, March 2, 2010
- CMS Delays Physician Pay Cut in Hopes that Congress Will Resolve Issue - HealthLeaders Media, March 1, 2010
- The House Puts Off the Medicare Pay Cut—Again - Newsweek, Feb. 26, 2010