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ACP advocates on behalf on internists and their patients on a number of timely issues. Learn about where ACP stands on the following areas:
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December 17 2012
'No plausible route to entitlement reform that does not
include full repeal of SGR'
(Washington) The American College of Physicians (ACP) today
urged Congress to pass legislation that will "create a permanent
solution to the endless cycle of Medicare physician payment cuts."
Three-page letters were sent to U.S. House
leaders emphasizing that "there is no plausible route to
entitlement reform that does not include full repeal of the
Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula."
Representing 133,000 physicians, ACP noted the issue is
especially timely and critical. "Congress has a unique opportunity
now, in the context of discussions on the 'fiscal cliff' and
entitlement reform, to create a clear timetable and policy
direction, resulting in permanent SGR repeal no later than next
year, accompanied by a transition to value-based payment and
delivery system reforms," David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, president of
ACP told congressional leaders. "The Medicare SGR formula acts as
the greatest single barrier to transition to new approaches to
develop new payment and delivery models aligned with value to
Specifically, ACP urged Congress to, "prevent the nearly 30
percent cut in Medicare payments to services provided by physicians
that will occur after the first of the year--resulting from
sequestration and the SGR formula--AND create a legislative pathway
and timetable for permanent repeal of the SGR and transition to
value-based payment and delivery models."
A three-step process was offered to bring about a permanent
replacement for the SGR:
Step 1: Enact legislation now to stop the
scheduled Medicare cut on January 1 that would also provide
direction to the Medicare authorizing committees on a policy
framework, process, and timetable to report comprehensive
legislation to repeal the SGR and transition to value-based
payments, followed byStep 2: Early 2013: authorizing committees would
hold hearings, consult with physician membership groups and other
stakeholders, and report legislation, no later than June 30,
2013, consistent with the policy directions required by step 1
and summarized in more detail in ACP's letter.Step 3: No later than September 30, 2013, Congress
enacts comprehensive payment and delivery system reform
legislation, based on the bill(s) reported out of the authorizing
committees in step 2, to achieve full SGR repeal and to establish a
framework of positive incentives for physicians to transition to
value-based payment models.
"We urge you to reach agreement on legislation to: prevent the
across-the-board sequestration cuts in critically important health
programs," Dr. Bronson concluded, "and especially, the nearly 30
percent Medicare payment cut to physicians; establish a pathway and
timetable to eliminate the SGR and create positive incentives for
physicians to transition to value-based payments; preserve programs
to improve Medicaid and Medicare payments for primary care and GME
funding to addressing the growing shortage of primary care
physicians and in many other specialties, and to achieve savings in
health care spending by addressing the real drivers of excess
The American College of Physicians is the
largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest
physician group in the United States. ACP members include 133,000
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.