The stalled healthcare reform initiative leaves the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule problem of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) imposed 21.5% reduction as a stand alone separate issue. The physician fee schedule decrease was postponed for 2 months by an Obama addition to a defense approriation bill, with the expectation that a long term solution would be included in the healthcare reform legislation. That looks unlikely now. Below is the AMA lobbying response to that issue.

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eVoice® Alert

Jan. 20, 2010

Keep your patients, your practice at forefront of Congress’ decision on SGR

As the U.S. Senate returns to Capitol Hill today—and continues its deliberations on the floor—now is the time to act.

The 21 percent Medicare physician payment cut that had been scheduled to take effect this month has been delayed until March 1, giving us a short window of opportunity. Now is our chance to help permanently repeal Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Connect with your senators today by calling (800) 833-6354 and tell them to pass legislation to permanently repeal the SGR formula.

Continuing this game of "kick the can" harms the stability and security of the entire Medicare system and the millions of seniors and military families it is intended to serve. That’s why the AMA has made it abundantly clear to members of Congress and the White House that the days for Band-Aids are over. Mobilizing grassroots networks across the country, the AMA has begun an aggressive advertising and publicity campaign this month—and developed a new television ad—to make sure patients and likely voters are aware of and can help address this problem.

But senators need to hear directly from you—America’s physicians. Call the AMA’s toll-free grassroots hotline at (800) 833-6354 today, and please encourage your colleagues to do the same. An AMA physician flier (PDF) can direct them on how they also can help repeal the Medicare SGR formula.

Time is running out. Call for the future of your practice and the patients in your care.