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The ISMA pressures Congress to halt your Medicare payment cuts
e-Reports, October 12, 2010
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Medicare reductions set to hit as physicians make participation decisions
The ISMA has signed a letter with 117 medical and specialty societies and the AMA calling on Congress to take action during the first week of its lame-duck session in November to avert a Medicare physician access crisis.

Proposed cuts to your Medicare payments of more than 23 percent go into effect on Nov. 30, with an additional cut of 6.5 percent to follow Jan. 1.

Calling for stability and predictability in Medicare payments, the letter outlines the disruption to your practices this year as Congress on three occasions failed to act in time, and Medicare payments were cut by more than 20 percent. It points out the delays in receiving adjustments when payments resumed.

The letter requests a statutory payment update that lasts at least through 2011, thus providing time for Congress to develop a long-term solution.

Review your options
The next payment reduction is scheduled to occur during the period when you may change participation status in Medicare.

“Hundreds of thousands of physicians will be considering whether they can continue accepting Medicare rates at the same time that massive payment cuts are scheduled to take effect. All of our groups agree that the ultimate solution is to permanently replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula with a system that keeps pace with the cost of caring for our nation’s seniors,” the letter states.

To assist you in making your Medicare participation decision, the AMA has developed the “Know your options: Medicare participation guide.”

Find the Medicare options kit online here.

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