Senate to Vote on Critical Bill to Fix Physician Reimbursement

October 15, 2009


Updated on: 10/19/09

The Senate has postponed consideration of S. 1776 until sometime later this week. The Academy is following this situation very closely and will be sure to post any more updates as we receive them.

On Monday, October 19, the US Senate will take a critical vote on the consideration of S. 1776, a bill to repeal the broken Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. Every year physicians must fight to avoid cuts to reimbursement, which are mandated by this formula. S. 1776, the Medicare Physician's Fairness Act, would permanently end this cycle by resetting the budget baseline and paving the way for a new payment system.

Elimination of the SGR formula has been a top priority for the Academy for nearly a decade. This bill offers the first chance for physicians to start with a clean slate. The entire physician community is working together with patients to ask Congress to preserve the security and stability of the Medicare program by passing this legislation.

Without action, physicians will again face a 21-percent payment cut on January 1, 2010 with additional cuts scheduled for the future. Every year that Congress puts off dealing with this problem it becomes more expensive to fix.

The time to act is now: join your colleagues by contacting your senators to ask for their support of S. 1776. Every phone call and email makes a difference. Sixty senators on each of three votes next week will be needed to pass S. 1776.

Send an email, or call the AMA's grassroots hotline (1-800-833-6354) to be connected during business hours.

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