Physician Groups Gear Up to Fight for SGR Repeal

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Five major physician lobbying groups expect to push Congress today to avert the upcoming Medicare reimbursement cuts to physicians and repeal the SGR formula altogether, according to a CQ Healthbeat News report.

The SGR, which is the formula used to determine Medicare payments to physicians, will slash Medicare reimbursements by 26.5 percent unless Congress intervenes. If Congress delays the cuts and freezes associated with the SGR, which it has done every year since 2003, the cost to offset that measure will keep rising. A one-year SGR patch will cost $25 billion this year, and the cumulative total is well over a couple hundred billion.

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The American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons and the American Osteopathic Association are urging Congress to repeal the SGR because inaction will come at the cost of families and seniors.

"This annual, unrelenting threat is increasingly destabilizing the Medicare system for patients whose doctors…work in small- and medium-sized practices, often in underserved areas and with small or no operating margins," said Glen Stream, MD, board chair of AAFP, in the report. "We need to end the uncertainty that undermines patients' confidence in Medicare and disrupts physicians' ability to provide ongoing care."

More Articles on the Sustainable Growth Rate:

SGR Fix Will Cost $25B This Year

AARP, Other Organizations Urge Congress to Eliminate SGR

CMS to Cut Physicians' Medicare Payments 26.5% in 2013 Unless SGR Bypassed

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