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Academy rallies for longer Medicare patch

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Although the recently passed legislation that creates a 1-year extension of current Medicare physician payment rates is a step up from the series of shorter-term patches witnessed during 2010, it is "only one step toward a permanent solution to the flawed sustainable growth rate formula that threatens deep Medicare payment cuts and the financial viability of primary care physician practices," according to Roland Goertz, MD, president, American Academy of Family Physicians.

Although the recently passed legislation that creates a 1-year extension of current Medicare physician payment rates is a step up from the series of shorter-term patches witnessed during 2010, it is "only one step toward a permanent solution to the flawed sustainable growth rate [SGR] formula that threatens deep Medicare payment cuts and the financial viability of primary care physician practices," says Roland Goertz, MD, president, American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

The Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010, approved by Congress on December 9, halts a 25% cut to Medicare physician payments under the SGR formula that otherwise would have gone into effect on January 1.

The AAFP advocates legislation that would include an SGR patch for 3 to 5 years.

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