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Physician and congressional leaders convene on Capitol Hill

(Washington, DC) Today, the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), along with the Chief Executive Officers of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), met with House and Senate Democratic and Republican Leadership. During the meetings the groups discussed legislative strategies aimed at reforming the flawed Medicare physician payment formula. Combined, the organizations represent more than 300,000 physicians nationwide.

Physicians need some degree of stability and predictability to make the investments in technology and in practice improvement that our patients expect, said Rick Kellerman, M.D., president, American Academy of Family Physicians. Our intent here today was to get assurances that Congress will get to the hard work of replacing the broken payment formula for the sake of the physicians and the patients they serve.

We all agree that the pay for is complex, but mechanisms exist to support the creation of a package that provides positive, stable and predictable Medicare payment updates and provides a pathway to repeal of the SGR, said John Tooker, M.D., CEO, American College of Physicians.

As Congress returns from Fourth of July Congressional Recess, the groups agree that it is time for the House and Senate to begin some heavy lifting and address the issues impacting the stability of the Medicare program in an open, timely fashion. The groups remain concerned that the continuation of the current physician payment system, even with congressional interventions, is a pathway to decreased participation in the Medicare program and, ultimately, decreased accesses to health care for beneficiaries.

We are not nave in believing that accomplishing our goal will be easy. We recognize that this is a complicated and expensive issue. However, the complexity and cost of a solution should not be obstacles to reform, said John Crosby, JD, Executive Director, Ameri
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
10-Jul-2007


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