Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Medicare Can’t Work Without Doctors

Congress is casting a critical vote very soon. One that ensures today’s and tomorrow’s Medicare patients have access to a doctor. The legislation is the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 (H.R. 1415/S. 2000).

Act now and save grandma’s access to her Medicare doctor. Please contact U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and your U.S. representative today. Ask them to support the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 (H.R. 1415/S. 2000).

The bill is designed to stop what we call “the Medicare Meltdown.” The best way to understand the Medicare Meltdown and its impact on Medicare patients is to watch “Grandma and the Big, Bad SGR,” the short, fun animated video below. It explains the huge problem affecting millions of Medicare patients’ access to care in terms that even a child can understand. It’s a must watch.

The problem: Doctors are finding it harder and harder to participate in Medicare. For more than 15 years, the government has used a broken payment formula to pay them. It’s called the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). Each year, the broken formula calls for a steep cut to your doctors’ Medicare payments. Congress has stopped the cut annually, but each year the cut continues to grow. Meanwhile, the cost to run a physician’s practice has increased 30 percent. As a result, physicians have been forced to retire early, some have closed their practice, while others are now taking fewer new Medicare patients. It’s becoming harder for Medicare patients to find a doctor. If Congress doesn’t vote to repeal the SGR, doctors face a steep cut of 24.7 percent on April 1. This will force even more doctors out of the Medicare program.

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