Leading doctor group warns of Medicare cuts

The American Medical Association congratulated President Obama on his re-election Wednesday, but warned him of the danger of looming Medicare cuts.

The country’s largest physician organization said they are committed to working with the administration and Congress to stop the nearly 27 percent cut scheduled to hit physicians who care for Medicare patients in January.

“It is time to transition to a plan that will move Medicare away from this broken physician payment system and toward a Medicare program that rewards physicians for providing well-coordinated, efficient, high-quality patient care while reducing health care costs,” said AMA’s president Jeremy Lazarus.

The government health program’s sustainable growth rate calls for annual, automatic cuts in Medicare payments to doctors. For the past decade, Congress has passed short-term fixes to avoid the cuts; the next due date is Dec. 31.

The association said it’s a “critically important time” for America’s health care system, and that the administration needs to remember that physicians should be at the forefront of policy discussions.

“Physician leadership is critical to the successful evolution of health care in a patient-focused delivery system,” Lazarus said. “AMA is eager to continue working with elected leaders on both sides of the aisle to accelerate bold innovation in medical education, create an environment in which physicians thrive in sustainable practices, and help patients and physicians work together to improve health outcomes and ensure high quality care with optimal value for our health care dollar.”


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