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Monday, October 17, 2011

REPRESENTATIVE BURGESS SHARES INSIGHTS INTO CONGRESS

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville), the only TMA member in Congress, briefed association leaders on the key health care matters Washington will/could/might/should tackle in the closing months of 2011. Tops on everyone’s mind, of course, was Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and the pending 29.5-percent cut in physicians’ Medicare payments. Dr. Burgess told us he expects Congress will stop the cuts with a one- to three-year freeze, but he isn’t optimistic that we’ll see a replacement for the SGR this year. (If you haven’t yet, be sure to use TMA’s Grassroots Action Center to let the Texans on Capitol Hill know what we think of this annual disaster.) Dr. Burgess also discussed some ideas for controlling health care costs that don’t involve complete federal control of physicians’ offices. He is working on a plan that would recruit physicians to manage the care of the “dual eligibles” — the chronically ill seniors on both Medicare and Medicaid who eat up a disproportionate share of the health care budget. He is looking for Texas physicians who care for Medicare patients in a concierge-style practice. If you or someone you know has this type of practice, please let me know, and I’ll pass your name and contact information on to Dr. Burgess.

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