Friday, September 13, 2013

AMA Launches “Fix Medicare Now” Website

A bipartisan bill is making its way through Congress, promising to repeal the flawed formula used to pay physicians who care for Medicare patients. Without any action by Congress, the formula, known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), will slash Medicare physician payments by 24.7 percent on Jan. 1, 2014, hurting Medicare patients’ access to care.  Currently in Texas, only 59 percent of physicians take all new Medicare patients, a decrease of 19 percent compared with 2000. To increase public awareness about the flawed formula and why it needs to be eliminated, the American Medical Association (AMA) created the website FixMedicareNow.org.

The website illustrates how the SGR hurts patients, hurts the economy by threatening health care jobs, and hurts physicians by threatening steep payment cuts even as practice costs continue to inflate. It also features patient stories like Lisa S.’s from Austin, who writes, “I am having trouble finding new doctors for my 85-year-old mother right now. It will be nearly impossible if the cuts go through.”

To share your own patient or physician story, and to contact your representative about this problem, check out FixMedicareNow.org.

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