The Medical Group Management Association on Feb. 8 sent the following letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on its position on across-the-board federal budget cuts scheduled at the end of February absent congressional action:

“We would like to reassert our position that Congress must prevent across-the-board budget cuts currently scheduled for the end of February. An arbitrary and formulaic sequestration is not the appropriate way to achieve our nation’s long-term health policy goals. Cuts to physician payments resulting from sequestration would further destabilize the Medicare program and compound the already dire situation for medical group practices caused by the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula.

“MGMA-ACMPE is the premier association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices. Since 1926, the Association has delivered networking, professional education and resources, advocacy and certification for medical practice professionals. The
Association represents 22,500 members who lead 13,600 organizations nationwide in which some 280,000 physicians provide more than 40 percent of the healthcare services delivered in the
United States.

“The instability created by the combination of sequestration and the ever-present SGR undermines efforts to achieve broader, long-term reforms to the Medicare program. Congress did not improve the situation this past December by freezing physician payments for 2013.

This is not an “either-or” proposition. Cuts resulting from both sequestration and SGR must be stopped once and for all.

“In recent MGMA research, 82 percent of physician practices expressed their willingness to explore new payment and delivery models if a degree of stability was restored to the Medicare physician payment system. Congress should seize this opportunity for fundamental change, not continue to foster instability through inaction. We understand our nation faces significant fiscal challenges; however, these cuts will stifle the ability of physician practices to fully invest in the future and continue to provide high-quality, cost-effective patient care.

“We appreciate this opportunity to share our views on this vital topic. Should you have any questions, please contact Miranda Franco, MGMA Government Affairs Representative, at 202.293.3450 or mfranco@mgma.org.”

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