The Memorial Day break is over and it’s time for Congress to immediately fix the 21.3 percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians that took effect June 1.
Dear Editor, The Memorial Day break is over and it’s time for Congress to immediately fix the 21.3 percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians that took effect June 1. While the Senate enjoys time away from Capitol Hill, family physicians are once again agonizing over the looming disastrous reduction in revenue. Medicare physicians are currently paying 2010 rates for staff salaries, rent, utilities, supplies and technology, but must accept payment equivalent to 2001 rates. Tack on another 21 percent cut in their revenues and it’s easy to see how many more doctors will have to drop Medicare and TRICARE from their practices. The U.S. House passed yet another short-term patch until December 2011, but physicians agree this proposal is not enough.
The Illinois Academy of Family Physicians will only support the following:
•Permanently repeal and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula
•A temporary patch that runs until at least December 31, 2012 to allow longer stability while working on a permanent solution acceptable to physicians
•Any temporary patch must include a positive increase specifically for primary care services. Patrick A Tranmer, MD, MPH
Illinois Academy of Family Physicians
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