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Internal Medicine and Related Subspecialties Applaud Unprecedented Bipartisan Agreement to Repeal SGR Formula

Letter to House Leadership Cites Comprehensive Legislation by House Energy & Commerce, Ways & Means, and Senate Finance Committees

February 20, 2014

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Eric Cantor
Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Steny Hoyer
Minority Whip
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Majority Whip
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear House Leadership,

The undersigned organizations, representing internal medicine and related subspecialties, applaud the unprecedented bipartisan agreement by the House Energy & Commerce, Ways & Means, and Senate Finance Committees on comprehensive legislation to repeal Medicare's flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. This legislation, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Payment Modernization Act, H.R. 4015/S. 2000, represents years of policy development toward a new physician payment system that brings better value to patients and to the entire health care system. We urge you to expedite this legislation to the floor for a vote and enact it before April 1st.

To date, we have endured 11 years of SGR patches amounting to $154 billion of wasted dollars. It is time to end once and for all this fiscally irresponsible practice of short-term SGR patches, which only grows more expensive by the day and takes a heavy toll on physician practices and patient care.

With enactment of this legislation, physicians will no longer be faced with the threat of annual payment cuts. Instead, physicians will see positive, stable baseline payments for 5 years. Physician-led efforts to improve quality and lower costs will be recognized with higher incentive updates. Physicians will also have the opportunity to receive higher updates for moving into alternative payment models that focus on accountability and care coordination, including Patient-Centered Primary Care Medical Homes and Patient-Centered Medical Home Specialty Practices. H.R. 4015/S. 2000 will finally bring us toward a more efficient, cost-saving system.

Congress has an historic opportunity to enact bipartisan, bicameral SGR-repeal legislation, the product of unprecedented effort on the part of the Medicare committees and so many in the medical community. We are counting on you to get this done, and to do so before the next scheduled SGR payment cut on April 1st.

Sincerely,

Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM)
AMDA-Dedicated to Long Term Care Medicine
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI)
American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI)
American College of Cardiology (ACC)
American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP)
American College of Physicians (ACP)
American College of Gastroenterology (ACG)
American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)
American Geriatrics Society (AGS)
American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM)
American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT)
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE)
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
American Society of Hematology (ASH)
American Society of Nephrology (ASN)
American Thoracic Society (ATS)
Endocrine Society (ES)
Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)
Renal Physicians Association (RPA)
Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM)
Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM)

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 137,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact:
David Kinsman, (202) 261-4554, dkinsman@acponline.org
Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572, jblaser@acponline.org

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