AMA: Permanent Fee-Fix Should Reflect Integrated Care

In a statement to Congress, the AMA called for a new physician fee formula to replace the flawed sustainable growth rate, reflecting the need for integrated care and keeping patients out of the hospital, according to a report by the Hill.



The AMA called for immediate repeal of the SGR, which would automatically impose steep drops in physician fees, but urged Congress to then allow five years for new payment formulas to be developed.


The new system "should involve transitioning to a new generation of payment models that reward physicians and hospitals for keeping patients healthy, managing chronic conditions in a way that avoids hospitalizations, and, when acute-care episodes occur, delivering high quality care with efficient use of resources," AMA President Cecil Wilson, MD, wrote.


He added that the new system should be flexible. "Replacing the SGR should not be another one-size-fits-all formula," he wrote. "We envision physicians choosing from a menu of payment models, selecting ones that best address their patients' needs, specialty, practice type, capabilities and community."


The AMA said it is working with specialty and state medical societies to form an "Innovator Committee" of physicians and experts to test and evaluate new payment methods, Dr. Wilson said.


Read the Hill report on physician payment.


Related articles on fixing Medicare physician fees:

Upcoming Fee Fix Would Mean Squeezing Hospital, Physician Payments

Congress Passes One-Year Medicare Fee-Fix; President's Signature Expected

House Almost Unanimously Passes Permanent Physician Fee-Fix


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