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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:
© Copyright 2018 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved. 190 North Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1572
Toll Free: (800) 523.1546 · Local: (215) 351.2400
October 25, 2013
(Washington) -Internists today provided input to the recently
appointed Congressional Budget Conference Committee members,
providing them with specific recommendations to reform Medicare
physician payments and replace the sequestration cuts with more
responsible ways to reduce the deficit. In an nine-page letter
written on behalf of the American College of Physicians (ACP),
President Molly Cooke, MD, FACP, told the conferees that the
medical profession is committed to doing its part to improve
quality and lower costs, but that Congress must also do its part by
repealing the Medicare SGR formula and ending the "devastating"
cuts to medical research and public health programs from
"It is essential that the Congress complete the work on enacting
comprehensive Medicare physician payment reform legislation, based
on the significant bi-partisan progress that has already been made.
Such an effort, when seen through to completion, will result in
significant and long-term savings to the health care system
overall," Dr. Cooke said. "Therefore, ACP strongly recommends that
the Budget Conference Committee include in your budget framework to
be reported to Congress by Dec. 13 enactment of legislation to
repeal the SGR and replace it with a value-based payment framework.
We also strongly urge the Budget Conference Committee to recommend
that enactment of Medicare physician payment reform legislation
occur prior to the end of this calendar year."
Dr. Cooke observed that the College has provided Congress with
specific recommendations on how to transition away from traditional
fee-for-service to value-based payment models, to reduce
inappropriate utilization of marginal, ineffective and even harmful
medical interventions, and to make other changes to improve the
quality and effectiveness of care.
The sequestration cuts, Dr. Cooke noted, could "set back
progress in medical research, potentially for generations." She
offered policy options to potentially achieve billions of dollars
in savings, by targeting the real cost-drivers behind health care
spending, as an alternative to sequestration.
Dr. Cooke concluded her letter by pointing out that ACP
recognizes the difficulties involved in achieving a bipartisan
policy consensus on the federal budget.
"Yet we know that is possible for Republicans and Democrats
alike to find common ground, as evidenced by the bipartisan
progress that has been made to date on legislation to repeal the
Medicare SGR formula and transition to a value-based payment
system," Dr. Cooke emphasized. "ACP is committed to doing all that
it can to help Congress find consensus on policies to reform
Medicare physician payments; reduce misuse and over-use of
marginal, ineffective and even harmful medical interventions; and
replace sequestration with more responsible and effective
approaches to reduce health care spending and the federal budget
# # #
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.
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