WHAT IT MEANS
In 2002, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cut the Medicare payment rates physicians receive for treating seniors enrolled in Medicare. At the time, the proposed cut was 4.8%. In the following decade, physicians have seen these scheduled cuts rise to over 25%. It has taken 12 acts of Congressional intervention to present such payment cuts. In 2013, Congress has a narrow window in which to fix this problem once and for all. Please contact your Members of Congress and tell them it’s time for a permanent solution for the Medicare physician payment system.
THE COST TO KICK THE CAN VERSUS ENACTING LASTING POLICY
This year, Congress has a chance to solve a problem that’s plagued America’s seniors and physicians for a decade. Reforming the Medicare physician payment system starts with permanently repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). In the past 10 years, Congress has spent $146 billion in short term patches. This is like only making the minimum payment on a credit card — over time the payoff amount becomes out of reach.
Every Patient Counts advocates for a long term solution that would save our country billions over the next 10 years. However, the outcome of a permanent solution means much more than a dollar amount. It means seniors will obtain better access to quality health care. It means physicians will stay engaged in the Medicare program. And it means America will have a foundation for a healthy Medicare future.