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House members oppose MedPAC's Medicare doctor pay plan

Posted Oct. 31, 2011

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A group of House lawmakers has drafted a letter opposing the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's plan to replace the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula with a system that cuts some doctor pay rates and freezes others.

Reps. Michael Burgess, MD (R, Texas), and Gene Green (D, Texas) have been gathering signatures on the letter expressing opposition to the MedPAC recommendations released Oct. 6. MedPAC recommended that Congress repeal the SGR, which is set to cut Medicare pay by nearly 30% in 2012, and replace it with two fee schedules. One would freeze payments for primary care services during the next decade. The other would cut pay for all other services by 5.9% a year for three years, and then freeze those rates for seven years.

"Unfortunately, while MedPAC's recommendation would eliminate the SGR, it would do so in a manner that would threaten access to care for millions of America's most vulnerable citizens," the letter reads.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/10/31/gvbf1031.htm.

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