WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today sent a bipartisan letter to 51 medical associations requesting feedback on how to improve the Medicare physician payment system. Congress passed five temporary “fixes” to prevent a major physician payment reduction in 2010, which would limit Medicare patients’ access to care. Without further action, physicians will experience a 29 percent cut in 2012. The committee requested ideas be submitted before it convenes a hearing in early May.
“For too long, Congress has failed to address the outdated physician payment system. Each time Congress delays action, the costs to taxpayers and providers increase,” said Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “The committee is committed to working together to implement a permanent, sustainable solution this year that lessens taxpayers’ burden and ensures providers have the resources they need to provide quality care to patients.”
“The Sustainable Growth Rate has lingered for too long and threatens access to care for seniors and people with disabilities,” said Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA). “Today we are seeking input from the physician community on how best to address the physician payment system. But ultimately, responsibility lies with Congress to act to preserve seniors’ access to care and put the system on a stable, sustainable footing for the long term.”
Click here to view the letter.