Groups lobby for 5-year transition on Medicare

May 25, 2011

Leaders of physician organizations told Congress to fix the flawed Medicare payment formula over the next five years and offer rate stabilization for doctors while a solution is designed.

Leaders of physician organizations told Congress to fix the flawed Medicare payment formula over the next five years and offer rate stabilization for doctors while a solution is designed.

American Medical Association President Cecil B. Wilson, MD, and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) President Roland Goertz, MD, testified before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee to reform the Medicare physician payment formula, also known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). This formula will trigger a cut of nearly 30% on January 1 if Congress does not intervene as it has done in the past.

Goertz urged lawmakers to set a payment rate at least 2% higher for primary care physicians who are providing primary care and preventive health services. AAFP's reforms would also include increasing the Primary Care Incentive Payment from 10% of Medicare allowed charges to 20%.