Specialty Doctors Call for Permanent SGR Solution as Congress Passes One-Year Patch

Dec 09, 2010, 14:29 ET from Alliance of Specialty Medicine

Alliance of Specialty Medicine calls for a new, permanent Medicare reimbursement formula to ensure quality medical care for seniors

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alliance of Specialty Medicine (Alliance) today called on Congress to permanently fix Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) after lawmakers once again passed a temporary fix, thereby postponing unprecedented reimbursement cuts to Medicare doctors until 2012.

"It has come time for Congress to ensure senior citizens have access to the medical care they need by stepping up and permanently fixing the outdated SGR formula," said Dr. Alex B. Valadka, a neurosurgeon from Austin, TX and spokesperson for the Alliance. "The current system reimburses doctors at rates that fail to even cover the costs associated with providing care to patients. Without a change, thousands of seniors across the country could wind up with nowhere to turn as their doctors are forced to close their practices to Medicare patients. It is a question of whether or not Congress chooses to remember its commitment to providing quality health care for seniors with Medicare."

Dr. Valadka, whose thoughts on the SGR and other issues important to specialty doctors were recently published in Becker's Hospital Review, explained the need for an updated system.

"The formula must recognize the true cost of providing quality health care in America today," said Dr. Valadka. "Medicare reimbursement hasn't kept up with cutting edge medical discoveries, and a new system that takes into account these life-saving advances must be established if our nation's seniors are going to get the quality of health care they deserve."

The Alliance of Specialty Medicine actively engaged in policy discussions during the health care reform debate and continues to work with Members of Congress to develop sound public policies that strengthen our nation's health care delivery system.

For more information on the Alliance, visit www.SpecialtyDocs.org.

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 Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; 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.

SOURCE Alliance of Specialty Medicine