Just-Launched Grassroots Campaign Drives Home Urgency for Permanent Medicare Pay Fix
The American Medical Association has launched a multi-media, grassroots campaign for a permanent Medicare physician pay fix. The campaign, which urges immediate Congressional action to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula used to determine Medicare physician pay, includes a 30-second television spot, a 60-second radio spot and direct mailings. This initiative is in concert with the Academy's grassroots physician-engagement effort that provides members with tools to facilitate communications with their representatives and senators.
Since 2002, physicians have repeatedly faced substantial cuts in Medicare reimbursement due to the SGR formula, which is universally acknowledged to be flawed. Physicians now face a 30 percent cut on Jan. 1 unless Congress intervenes. The medical associations are calling on the joint House and Senate committee charged with finding $1.2 trillion in federal deficit savings to include a permanent Medicare physician pay fix in its proposal for Congressional action. Pressure is growing for the joint committee to dedicate any Medicare savings from cuts it recommends to first shore up the system—including solving the SGR problem—then use any remaining savings to reduce the deficit. More than a quarter of House members last week signed a letter to the joint committee urging that it include repeal of the SGR formula in its recommendations.