FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 15, 2013
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – As the 2014 Medicare open enrollment period begins today, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) is launching a national media and grassroots advocacy campaign urging policymakers to reform the Medicare physician payment system that has been impeding access to health care for seniors across the nation for more than a decade.
“The current Medicare payment system is unsustainable,” says AOA President Norman E. Vinn, DO. “Payments to physicians covering the services they provide to seniors enrolled in Medicare are not keeping pace with practice cost inflation. To keep their practices afloat, some physicians are left with no choice but to cut back on the services they provide to their Medicare patients or stop accepting these patients altogether.”
Through grassroots communications, direct media engagement, social media efforts and advertising, the AOA’s campaign, aptly titled “Every Patient Counts,” aims to empower DOs, osteopathic medical students and members of the public with the information and resources they need to convince policymakers to implement a new payment system that preserves access to health care for the 49 million Americans enrolled in Medicare. More specifically, the campaign advocates that any long-term federal budget solution include repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that currently determines the amount physicians are paid for treating Medicare beneficiaries and replace it with a system that adequately values physician services, rewards physicians who strive to provide higher quality care, and promotes the development and expansion of innovative payment models as the path forward.
“Repealing the SGR should figure prominently into any long-term Medicare physician payment solution,” stresses Dr. Vinn. “The temporary fixes we have seen in the past are no longer a financially viable option for Congress, Medicare and physicians. It is time for policymakers to choose the nation’s seniors over politics, protect access to health care, and pass meaningful Medicare payment reform before it is too late.”
Campaign supporters can visit EveryPatientCounts.org to learn how to help cure Medicare by urging policymakers to invest in high-quality health care for today's seniors and generations to come.
About the American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) proudly represents its professional family of more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools; and has federal authority to accredit hospitals and other health care facilities. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at www.osteopathic.org.
(800) 621-1773, ext. 8043