Doctors Angry as Medicare Meltdown Looms

For Immediate Release
Dec. 1, 2011


Contact: Pam Udall
phone: (512) 370-1382
cell: (512) 413-6807

Brent Annear
phone: (512) 370-1381
cell: (512) 656-7320

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Please attribute the following statement C. Bruce Malone, MD, president of the Texas Medical Association. Thirty-one days from now – Jan. 1, 2012 – physicians’ Medicare payments could be slashed more than 27 percent, jeopardizing access to care for millions of Medicare patients. TMA physicians are extremely worried about how this decade-old issue could affect their patients. Physician groups nationwide are asking Congress to fix the problem. However, there is no indication of a solution.

“It makes us [doctors] angry that Congress puts us and patients in this position. We love our Medicare patients and want to continue to care for them.

“Yet in 30 days, our Medicare payments could drop below the cost of providing their care. Doctors have no choice but to consider limiting the number of Medicare patients they see. No doctor wants that to happen. Our Medicare patients and military families deserve better.”

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 45,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 120 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.

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    The House passed the annual military funding bill which dropped the upcoming physician Medicare pay cut. It also included funding the proposed Canada to Texas oil pipeline. This last makes the bill impossible to support because the pipeline is a dangerous and bad idea which the president deferred reconsideration of until after the election. The House is trying to jam through the pipeline, the military and Medicare be damned. We must all pressure Congress to pass the military funding bill and defer pipeline consideration until after the election. This would be a temporary fix for Medicare physician funding. I agree that a new fair long term physician payment formula to replace the current SGR formula is mandatory.

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