AADA disappointed at failure of Congress, White House to avoid cuts to physician payment, medical research

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 2, 2013) —Continues to push for permanent fix to flawed medicare payment formula

Statement from Daniel M. Siegel, MD, FAAD
President, American Academy of Dermatology Association

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) is disappointed that Congress and the White House have failed to stop the across-the-board sequestration spending cuts to medical research and Medicare physician payments. These cuts could have a devastating impact on patient access to care, as well as life-saving cancer research and prevention programs.

The across-the-board cuts not only reduce Medicare payments to physicians by 2 percent, but funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be drastically reduced by 5.1 percent. This will result in $1.5 billion cuts to the NIH budget which could lead to 1,380 fewer research grants, a loss of up to 20,500 jobs, and a $3 billion decrease in economic activity. Cancer research funding will also be cut by $250 million.

The AADA has consistently reiterated that now is not the time for cuts, but rather for addressing Medicare physician payment reform that repeals the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and preserves Medicare patients’ access to care.

Over the last 10 years, Congress has taken action 15 times to temporarily stop the SGR, costing a total of $146 billion — funds that could have been used to permanently fix the flawed formula. The Congressional Budget Office recently reduced the estimated cost for repealing Medicare’s SGR formula from $243.7 billion to $138.3 billion. With physicians facing a 25 percent cut to Medicare in January, now is the time to remove this barrier to Medicare payment reform.

The AADA remains committed to finding a permanent solution and urges Congress to immediately address this problem by enacting a long-term solution that repeals the broken SGR formula. Together, we must reform Medicare’s physician payment system to protect Medicare patients, pay physicians fairly, and bring much-needed stability for physician practices and patients.

Celebrating 75 years of advocating for dermatologic research and quality patient care.
The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. A sister organization to the Academy, the American Academy of Dermatology Association is the resource for government affairs, health policy and practice information for dermatologists, and plays a major role in formulating policies that can enhance the quality of dermatologic care. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical, and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin. For more information, contact the Academy at 1 (888) 462-DERM (3376) or visit www.aad.org. Follow the Academy on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology) or Twitter (@AADskin).

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