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AMA Supports Bill to Increase Pay for Medicare Doctors

AMABy Brad Broker

The American Medical Association (AMA) announced Monday its support for the proposed legislation to repeal and replace the SGR.

“The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula was flawed policy from the moment it was enacted. The time for its repeal is now,” wrote James Madara, MD, Executive Vice President of the AMA in a letter to Congress. “We thank you for the truly impressive efforts that have been made in developing the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act and your responsiveness to issues raised by the AMA and others in the physician community.”

HealthcareLast week, Congress introduced the bill to replace the long-frustrating SGR with a 0.5 percent pay increase each year for five years to doctors for Medicare payments. The current system would be replaced with a more incentive-based program “that rewards providers who meet performance thresholds, improves care for seniors, and provides certainty for providers,” according to the proposal.

“The legislation represents not only critical payment and delivery reform, but prudent fiscal policy as well,” said AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D. “Congress must seize this opportunity to strengthen Medicare and end the costly pattern of short-term patches to a flawed formula that has frustrated physicians, threatened access for beneficiaries, and created a budgetary dilemma from which Congress has struggled to emerge for more than a decade.”

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