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Monday, September 19, 2011

MEDPAC CONSIDERS CUTS AND FREEZES IN MEDICARE PAYMENTS

Looks like everyone in Washington is out to cut access to care for seniors, military families, and Texans with disabilities. The congressional Medicare Payment Advisory Committee is considering what American Medical Association leaders call “a misguided scheme.” It would cut payments by 18 percent to nonprimary care physicians over the next three years followed by a freeze for seven years. Payments to primary care physicians would be frozen for 10 years. This comes as a cost-cutting alternative to the 29.5-percent across-the-board cut that will kick in Jan. 1 if Congress doesn’t intervene. TMA is working with AMA and other medical societies across the country to convince lawmakers there is a better way. The groups are calling on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction not only to eliminate Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula but also to bring some Texas-style medical liability reforms to the table.

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