Update: Physician Payment Reform
Congress reconvened this week and is expected to address Medicare physician payment along with several other issues. The SGR formula used to calculate annual updates is set to be reinstated on December 1, resulting in a 23-percent cut in payments for physicians.
As we closely monitor this issue, we expect Congress to provide a one-month extension to the current payment rate to buy some time to institute a longer-term extension.
Assuming this happens, the AAFP will urge Congress to pursue a three-step approach to permanent payment reform:
- Extend current Medicare physician payment rates for at least 13 months, through the end of 2011.
- Provide multi-year extension of the SGR with differential payment for primary care physicians.
- Work with physicians on the development and implementation of longer-term payment system improvements.
A letter outlining our approach to payment reform is available on Speak Out. Please consider contacting your legislators today.