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The Florida Society of Ophthalmology

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Repeal SGR Now, 117 Medical Associations Tell Deficit Committee

In a letter sent to members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Deficit Reduction last week, the AMA and 116 state and specialty medical societies asked the committee to include repeal of Medicare's flawed payment formula, the sustainable growth rate (SGR), in its spending plan.

As the committee develops a legislative package to reduce federal spending by at least $1.2 trillion by Nov. 23, the letter cautions that any serious plan to solve the nation's fiscal challenges must include permanent repeal of the SGR.

“The committee's deadline comes just before a 30 percent cut is scheduled to occur on Jan. 1, providing a critical opportunity to stabilize the Medicare system and protect seniors' access to health care,” AMA President Peter W. Carmel, MD, said.

The scheduled 30 percent cut in payments to those who care for Medicare patients would be devastating to seniors' access to health care. According to a 2010 AMA survey, about one in five physicians overall, and nearly one-third of primary care physicians, say they are already being forced to limit the number of Medicare patients in their practice because of the ongoing threat of cuts and inadequate Medicare rates.

Send your members of Congress an urgent message through the AMA's Physicians' Grassroots Network telling them that repeal of the SGR must be part of the Joint Select Committee's legislative package—it only takes a minute. Your patients can do the same through the AMA's Patients' Action Network. Or call the AMA's toll-free grassroots hotline at (800) 833-6354.

Read more in an AMA news release, and access the AMA's Medicare physician payment action kit to learn how you can get involved.

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