AAMC Commends Energy and Commerce Committee for Passing Legislation to Reform the Medicare Physician Payment System
Washington, D.C., July 31, 2013—AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., issued the following statement today following the Energy and Commerce Committee’s passage of the Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R. 2810), bipartisan legislation to reform Medicare physician payment and repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula:
“The AAMC applauds the Energy and Commerce Committee for passing the Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act. This legislation represents a positive step in transitioning the Medicare physician payment system to one that rewards quality and innovation, as well as repeals the flawed SGR formula. While we are pleased to see this legislation move forward, we hope Congress will recognize there is still much work to be done.
Specifically, the AAMC believes that Congress should capitalize on this opportunity to address the physician workforce and ensure there are enough physicians to meet the needs of the rising number of Medicare beneficiaries. According to AAMC estimates, by 2020, the United States will face a shortage of more than 91,000 physicians, equally distributed between primary care and subspecialist physicians. To address this shortage, Congress must increase the number of federally supported residency training slots, a number which has remained stagnant since 1997.
We look forward to working with Congress in their continued efforts to reform the physician payment system, and urge them also to address the nation’s physician shortage by increasing federal support for graduate medical education (GME) so that patient access to care is not restricted.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 145 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their nearly 160,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org.
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