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Monday, March 23, 2015

Flood Capitol Hill With SGR Calls Tomorrow

Over the years, every member of the Texas Delegation in Congress has told us that he or she supports repeal of Medicare’s noxious Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. Now is the time to hold them to their promises. We have just one week to get it done before Congress goes on recess and the 22.4-percent cut kicks in on April 1. HR 1470, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2015, by our own U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville), will be up for a vote on the House floor this week. It eliminates the SGR immediately, ensures solid — if nonspectacular — Medicare rate increases the next five years, and offers a bonus for physicians who participate in alternative payment models and meet certain thresholds. Any of us could find fault with one or more provisions in the bill, but, bottom line, it’s immensely better than the status quo. As TMA President Austin King, MD, said in his email Action Alert to all of our members, “We physicians are tired of the never-ending uncertainty; the never-ending threats to cut Medicare pay; the never-ending need to lobby Congress on the same, never-ending problem. Our patients are tired of the never-ending fear of losing their doctor. Eighteen years and 17 patches is enough.” If you didn’t already respond to the Action Alert, you have another chance to help us turn up the heat on the House. Tomorrow is National Call to Action Day on the SGR, organized by the American Medical Association, TMA, and medical societies nationwide. Contact your senators and representative and urge them to support HR 1470 (and its companion, S 810) by: 
  • Calling via AMA’s toll-free Physicians Grassroots Hotline at (800) 833-6354.
  • Using the TMA Grassroots Hotline to send an urgent email.
  • Contacting legislators directly through their own social media channels, and then sharing your message with your own Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

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