Unless Congress acts, the Medicaid primary care incentive that pays physicians at Medicare rates for providing primary care to Medicaid patients will expire in December. Tell your Senators to co-sponsor a bill that will extend it for two more years!
Congress passed legislation in 2010 that called for physicians to be paid at Medicare rates or above for providing primary care services to Medicaid patients in 2013 and 2014. Unless Congress acts again, this valuable program will expire at the end of this year -- just as more patients are entering the Medicaid system, and physicians like you are struggling to provide them with the access to care that they need. While the payment incentive was to go into effect at the start of 2013, many states were only just able to implement the payment bump earlier this year, mere months before the program expires at the end of this December.
Introduced today, S. 2694, or the “Ensuring Access to Primary Care for Women & Children Act,” will extend the Medicaid Primary Care payment incentive for an additional two years through 2016, giving the program time to prove its benefits and helping to ensure that Medicaid patients will have access to a primary care physician.
But in order to pass, the bill needs support—ask your Senators to sign on as co-sponsors. Don’t let this valuable payment expire!
Please see this important message from GL Advisors, one of ACOEP's valued partners.
GL Advisor has been carefully reviewing the details of the budget proposal recently released by the Obama Administration. The potential changes to existing student loan repayment and forgiveness programs could adversely impact thousands of borrowers, especially young graduate professionals working in the public sector. Our presentation highlights the proposed changes and provides real-world case studies of the possible impact on young medical professionals.
Super Tuesday has come and gone and primaries throughout the country. It is important to know who our leaders are, so stay informed! Here are some helpful links!
The Cook Political Report
Take a moment to familiarize yourself with Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Obama's nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary.
The Wall Street Journal: Sylvia Burwell, HHS Nominee, Answers Senators' Questions
The cost to permanently repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) has gone up by almost twenty percent, only weeks after Congress passed a one-year patch derailing the unprecedented progress made to date on permanent physician payment reform. One of the reasons that progress was even put in motion was because the cost estimate to repeal the SGR had been drastically lowered in 2013 by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). But by approving the 17th temporary SGR patch in 11 years last month, Congress chose a fiscally irresponsible path that delayed permanent reform long enough that the price has now gone up, making permanent reform even more urgent before future generations of seniors are put at risk.
Ensure physician voices are heard - write your senators and tell them to vote YES.
The "SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act" (H.R. 4015/S. 2110) was introduced last month in both the House and Senate, and is the first bipartisan, bicameral legislation to replace the flawed Medicare physician payment formula. The legislation will:
• Permanently repeal the SGR;
• Establish a new payment system with positive updates for all physicians for five years;
• Provide payment incentives for transitioning to alternative payment models like the Patient-Centered Medical Home;
• Combine and streamline the current quality reporting programs; and
• Support high-quality patient care
More than 1,200 DOs and osteopathic medical students participated in DO Day on Capitol Hill, the AOA’s premier lobbying event of the year. Wearing white coats and DO pins, participants met face-to-face with U.S. representatives to deliver key lobbying points and tell their own personal stories related to topics like payment reform and physician workforce.
Congress has not heard from physicians that Medicare physician payment reform is a priority. Only 2.4% of DOs emailed letters to Congress last week. Your engagement with Congress in the coming weeks is imperative to end the constant struggle to reform the physician payment system, currently hindered by the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, once and for all. If you have sent a letter in the past, please send another today.
The "SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act" will only move to a vote by the full House and Senate if Congress hears from the entire osteopathic family. Don't allow Congress to avoid physician payment reform. Send a letter to your Members of Congress today asking them to co-sponsor the legislation and help advance the bill for a vote. We need your help during this pivotal time!
Take two minutes to send your letter today.
Your experience, insight and voice are all vital components of enacting change in the current political and medical landscape. Do you want to get involved but aren't sure how? Here are some great resources!
Click here to download the minutes from the AOA Legislative and Regulatory Agenda, 113th Congress-2nd Session.
Click here to download notes from the AOA Bureau on Federal Health Programs.
Healthcare Law Roll Out Timeline
The Wall Street Journal has published a timeline of the roll out of the Affordable Care Act.
CVS to Stop Selling Cigarettes
What do you think of CVS's controversial decision to stop selling cigarettes in their locations? Strong move toward a healthier nation or publicity stunt while they still sell unhealthy food options?
Latest Health Care Flap Shows Media at Its Most Boring
An interesting perspective on the way that the Health Care Law is covered in American media.
2014 Cook Political Report
The 2014 Cook Political Report has been published and offers an interesting and in-depth look ahead at the 2014 midterm elections.
If you are interested in advocating on behalf of your fellow physicians as well as the patients you serve but are unsure where to begin, the AOA's D.O. Advocacy Handbook is an excellent tool. Click the link above to download the pdf.
GOAL is an AOA initiative aimed at garnering support from elected officials on topics important to osteopathic physicians and those they treat. They offer tools and information on how to best get involved and make the use of your unique experience.
EveryPatientCounts.org is a one stop website for physicians, future physicians, patients and policy makers who are concerned about the cuts to physician pay form Medicare and Medicaid. It is a place where you can share your story, find information on writing to your elected officials, and understand the important details behind proposed legislation.
An interesting blog article from Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post who runs the paper's Health Reform Act, a regular look at how the Affordable Care Act is shaping the American health-care system.
John Farmer of the the Star Ledger looks at how the Affordable Care Act is likely to affect the midterm elections.
On Sept. 20, 2013, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) hosted the third annual Health Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. The event featured presentations from the nation's leading experts on various issues impacting physicians and our health care system.
To review key points of the meeting: Click Here (PDF)