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Monday, March 2, 2015

Medicine Lobbies Congress for SGR Repeal, Regulatory Relief

TMA leaders and members of the Coalition of State Medical Societies met with key members of Congress and staff to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means and House Energy and Commerce committees to push our federal agenda. The Capitol Hill consensus is that we’re looking at another short-term patch for Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula next month — rather than repeal — to avoid a 24-percent cut in physicians’ Medicare payments on April 1. However, the outlook is better for some relief from onerous and bureaucratic federal regulations of physicians’ practices. To further our campaign, please send me stories  of how Medicare rules and audits are interfering with patient care. The Texans included David Henkes, MD, chair of the Texas Delegation to the American Medical Association; AMA Vice Speaker Sue Bailey, MD; AMA Trustee Russ Kridel, MD; Texas Delegation Vice Chair Asa Lockhart, MD; TMA Trustee Gary Floyd, MD; ophthalmologist Lyle Thorstenson, MD; Dallas medical student John Corker; TMA’s chief lobbyist Darren Whitehurst; and me. The coalition includes medical societies from Texas, California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Jersey, and New York.

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