Join the ASDSA in helping Congress put a face to the physicians and patients impacted by annual threats to Medicare Physician Payment. Write your Member of Congress about this issue by clicking on this link, entering in your zip code, and clicking on a few talking points. You can also read what other ASDSA members have to say about the SGR and check out the photos we’ve received by clicking on this link. The photo gallery is available for viewing, even if you do not have a Facebook account.
The issue: As you may have heard, political insiders are saying that this year is our best chance ever of repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate, or SGR. The SGR is the flawed formula used to calculate Medicare physician payment, and is based on factors such as the Gross Domestic Product, rather than actual costs. It’s the SGR that causes us to face increasingly larger threatened cuts to Medicare—last year it was up to nearly a 30 percent cut. Yet Congress continues to “kick the can down the road” by passing short term “patches” to stop the cuts—sometimes retroactively—rather than dealing with the larger issue. As you well know, this stifles innovation, and puts physicians in a position of uncertainty on a year-by-year basis, endangering Medicare patients’ access to care. Right now, the AMA, state medical societies, and national medical specialties across the country are asking Congress to:
- Repeal the SGR
- Provide for a 5 year period of stable payment increases to allow for physicians to establish infrastructure and prepare for emerging payment models
- Provide for a broad range of models for payment, to include fee for service
More information about transition strategy is available here, on the AMA website.
It’s important to note that regardless of how you feel about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the action of repealing the SGR has no bearing. The SGR was not addressed in the ACA, and a repeal of the SGR in no way signifies a repeal of any part of the ACA. In fact, both the President and Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have signaled a willingness to support a repeal of the SGR.
Here’s where you come in:
Have a photo taken of you with the sign that says the following 3 things:
- "I'm a ________" (fill in the blank--it can be dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon, Mohs surgeon, skin doctor, MD, DO, patient....however you'd like to describe yourself!)
- "I support REPEALING THE SGR." (This should be the largest part of the sign.)
- Include a short statement about this about how threatened Medicare physician payment cuts affect you and your patients. This can be anything from, "Annual threatened cuts stifle innovation," "Medicare patients need us more than ever during the current skin cancer epidemic," "My patients need me." The point is to make this personal, and original. Members of Congress need to see the faces of those affected by Medicare physician payment cuts and learn why such cuts are so harmful. If you are comfortable, engage your office staff, your patients, and your family members. These cuts affect everyone!
Please make sure that the sign is close enough to your face and the font is large enough that it is legible.
Next, email the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll be posting these on our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and website, as well as sending them directly to Members of Congress.
If you are on social media, please Facebook or Tweet your photo with these hashtags: #FixMedicareNow #RepealTheSGR #ASDSA.
Finally, please SPREAD THE WORD. Tell your friends, colleagues, and patients. Let's get this message to Congress once and for all!
SGR Fact Sheet
SGR Sign Template
Congressional Sign-on Letter
Flores/Maffei Sign-on Cover Letter