Congressional Inaction Could Lead to Gaps in Seniors’ Medical Care
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Alliance of Specialty Medicine, representing over 100,000 specialty physicians nationwide, released the following statement on Congress’s unwillingness to improve and permanently fix the Medicare reimbursement system:
The word out of the Halls of Congress this week is worse than bad for seniors looking for assurances that Medicare will be able to provide the care they need when they need it. Members are now leaving for the Memorial Day recess knowing that their band-aid fix to the broken system is about to become unglued, forcing the agency that runs Medicare to tell doctors, essentially, treat the patients now but hold the bills until mid-June.
That’s no way to run a health care system.
Not only is Congress continuing to refuse to support a permanent replacement to the Medicare payment formula, but they are making a bad situation worse by limiting reimbursements to less than the actual cost of performing many surgeries and procedures. Congress is kicking the can down a road that leads to severely limiting the healthcare senior citizens receive.
Seniors on Medicare have paid their fair share and they should be able to get the care they need when they need it. The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula has been flawed from the beginning and now as newer and more specialized treatments become available, the government’s payment structure becomes even more outdated.
The painful truth is that unless Congress replaces the current outdated Medicare payment system with one that truly recognizes medical progress and the advancement of specialized medicine, more and more doctors will be forced to stop seeing Medicare patients, resulting in a lower quality of life for America’s seniors.
For the health of America’s senior citizens, Congress needs to act now to replace the Medicare payment system with a more current and fair system that adequately provides for the health and wellness of seniors.
Doctors representing the eleven member organizations of the Alliance for Specialty Medicine (ASM) will be coming to Washington, DC, in late June to meet with their elected representatives and discuss fixing the Medicare payment system and other issues important to the practice of medicine and to ensuring that the patients in the U.S. continue to have access to the best health care in the world.
The Alliance of Specialty Medicine is an organization of national medical societies, based in Washington, DC, which represents specialty physicians in the United States. This non-partisan group is dedicated to the development of sound federal health care policy that fosters patient access to the highest quality specialty care. Member organizations include: American Association of Neurological Surgeons; American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons; American Gastroenterological Association; American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery; American Urological Association; Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations; Congress of Neurological Surgeons; National Association of Spine Specialists; Heart Rhythm Society; and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. For more information, please visit www.specialtydocs.org.
for Alliance of Specialty Medicine
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