American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

AOA Implores Congress to Remain Focused on Permanent Medicare Physician Payment Reform Despite Passage of Temporary SGR Fix

Media Statement
March 31, 2014

Statement attributable to American Osteopathic Association President Norman E. Vinn, DO

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the national professional membership organization for more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students, is disillusioned by the Senate’s shortsighted decision today to advance the "Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014.” By approving the 17th temporary Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) patch in 11 years, Congress chose a fiscally irresponsible path that does nothing to ensure long-term access to quality health care for millions of seniors on Medicare.

Despite this setback, Congress must refocus its efforts on enacting permanent Medicare physician payment reform this year. A long-term solution that stabilizes payments to physicians participating in Medicare and eliminates the unnecessary annual threat of payment cuts is attainable. To achieve this goal this year, the AOA strongly urges members of the House and the Senate to take steps now toward advancing the legislation embraced by the Senate Finance, House Ways & Means, and Energy & Commerce Committees by Democrats and Republicans alike that offers an improved system that values quality of health care over quantity.

To provide patients and physicians an opportunity to express their concerns about this issue, the AOA launched Every Patient Counts, a grassroots advocacy campaign aimed at letting lawmakers know that now is the time to preserve access to health care for millions of seniors by passing meaningful Medicare physician payment reform. The campaign’s website provides educational materials for caregivers, patients, and physicians on the detrimental impact of the current SGR formula, and tools for these stakeholders to contact their lawmakers directly and give a voice to their experiences.

What is a DO?

DOs are licensed physicians who can prescribe medication and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery, in the United States. 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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​​Contact:

Mike Campea
​(800) 621-1773, ext. 8043

mcampea@osteopathic.org  ​

Twitter: @AOAforMedia​

 

 

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