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Monday, March 14, 2011

BURGESS TALKS BUDGETS, MEDICARE SGR, LIABILITY, ACOs, AND MORE

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Texas), the only TMA member in Congress, briefed TMA leaders on the hot health care issues in Washington. We talked about the ongoing budget showdown in D.C. as well as prospects for a permanent Medicare payment formula fix, Dr. Burgess’ liability reform bill, the Obama administration’s plans for accountable care organizations, and the future Medicare review contracts for the TMF Health Quality Institute. This conference call came the morning of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services announcement that physicians’ Medicare payments will drop by 29.5 percent next year if Congress takes no action. TMA joined with the American Medical Association and a broad list of national specialty societies and state medical associations in a letter (PDF) asking Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate to begin work immediately on a permanent replacement for the Sustainable Growth Rate formula. “It is our hope that Congress can again work together this year to end the cycle of temporary patches once and for all and develop a long-term and meaningful solution to this issue,” the letter read.

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