American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Neglecting Vote on Physician Payment Reform Viewed as Failure by 113th Congress to Protect Seniors

Media Statement                  
Dec. 15, 2014

Statement attributable to American Osteopathic Association President Robert S. Juhasz, DO

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) is disappointed that the 113th Congress again failed to address physician payment reform, leaving the nation’s seniors and their doctors struggling with the uncertainty created by the 1997 law.

Physician payment reform was widely agreed upon in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion during this session of Congress, which presented the best possibility of enacting this widely accepted policy into law. When the 114th Congress convenes, this policy will very likely be re-examined and re-shaped due to the new members, committee assignments and priorities, causing a significant setback.

This Congress missed an opportunity to resolve the payment reform issue and allow the next Congress to focus on other substantive health care issues without being burdened with yet another payment patch prior to the impending cut on April 1.

The AOA stands ready to work with the 114th Congress toward achieving our shared goal of true physician payment reform and encourages legislators to prioritize this policy for the good of the nation’s most vulnerable patients.

What is a DO?

DOs are licensed physicians who can prescribe medication and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery, in the U. S. They complete four years of medical school followed by graduate medical education through internship and residency programs typically lasting three to eight years. In addition, DOs receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, providing them with an in-depth knowledge of the ways that illness or injury in one part of the body can affect another. As one of the fastest-growing segments of health care professionals in the nation, the number of DOs has grown more than 200% during the past 25 years.

About the American Osteopathic Association

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents 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; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at www.osteopathic.org.

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Media Contact:

Nicole Grady
(800) 621-1773, ext. 8038
ngrady@osteopathic.org

Twitter: @AOAforMedia

 

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