March 7, 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 concerned that a new Medicare physician payment system that values high-quality patient care will not come to fruition unless the continued advancement of legislation already under consideration has bipartisan spirit. However, we strongly reiterate our support for the policy detailed in the “SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act.”
The AOA does not support any approach to advance this important legislation that potentially interferes with patient access to high-quality care. In the end, our nation’s patients will be the ones most at risk.
We urge Congress to stay the course, and we call upon them to continue building upon the many months of bipartisan, bicameral negotiations that created the legislation endorsed by all committees of jurisdiction and the physician community as a whole. We believe bipartisan efforts can and must be maintained before physicians experience a cut in payments of 24% scheduled to take effect on April 1. This will finally move us away from short-term patches to a more stable Medicare system.
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; 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.