Public Release:  Internists recognize today's 'rotten anniversary'

Tell Congress it's been 11 years, 16 patches, $154 billion wasted

American College of Physicians

(Washington) "Physicians throughout America today are recognizing a truly 'Rotten Anniversary,'" Molly Cooke, MD, FACP, president of the American College of Physicians (ACP), declared today. "On February 20, 2003, the first of 16 Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Formula 'patches' was passed by Congress."

For more than a decade, Congress has continually stepped in with a patch to prevent scheduled physician cuts under the flawed SGR formula. Eleven years later, and after 16 patches, ACP told its members today that $154 billion in taxpayer money has done nothing to lead to a better physician payment system.

Dr. Cooke reminded members today about an historic bipartisan agreement in both the House and Senate that contains policies to replace the SGR. The bill, H.R. 4015, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 (S. 2000 in the Senate), is strongly supported by physician membership organizations across the specialties and across the country.

Dr. Cooke told ACP members that Congress must now move the bill to the floor for a vote and get it to the president--before the current (16th) patch expires on March 31. She told ACP members that it was critical that they "remind Congress of this 'Rotten Anniversary' and get messages to them via every social media platform."

###

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 137,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.