01 January 2013

AADA continues to push for permanent fix to flawed Medicare payment formula

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 1, 2013) — Statement from Daniel M. Siegel, MD, FAAD, President, American Academy of Dermatology Association
The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) is urging Congress to find a permanent solution to Medicare’s flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula during the one-year reprieve from the 27 percent physician Medicare payment cut. Congress has agreed to temporarily stop the Medicare cuts, which were originally scheduled to begin on Jan. 1, 2013.

While the AADA recognizes that Congress has taken steps to ensure the availability of quality health care for the nation’s growing population of seniors for the short term, dermatologists are discouraged that Congress has missed another opportunity to permanently repeal the SGR and provide the stability that is required to ensure patient access to care. It is now more important than ever to ensure that patients who are struggling financially have access to affordable, quality care.

Given the current unstable economic environment, dermatologists understand that everyone must do their part. However, these last-minute freezes only increase the size of future Medicare physician payment cuts. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this one-year freeze at 2012 payment levels will cost $25 billion.

The AADA remains committed to finding a permanent solution and urges Congress to immediately address this problem by enacting a long-term solution repealing the flawed SGR formula that does not adversely affect patient care. Together, we must reform Medicare’s physician payment system to create a stable one that protects Medicare’s patients, pays physicians fairly, and improves quality and efficiency.