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AAMC Encouraged by Medicare Physician Payment System Repeal Agreement

Washington, D.C., March 24, 2015AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement about the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2):

“The AAMC appreciates the many challenges faced by congressional leaders over the past decade as they have worked to address Medicare physician payment reform. We applaud this most recent compromise as a significant step forward and salute the Republican and Democratic House leadership and committee chairmen for coming together to repeal Medicare’s flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and reform the physician payment system.

This legislation continues Medicare’s movement away from fee-for-service reimbursement toward an improved system that rewards quality. Moreover, we commend Congress for its willingness to provide stable and predictable payment updates for the nation’s physicians, eliminate cuts to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital program in FY 2017, extend the partial enforcement delay of CMS’s ‘two-midnight’ policy, and fund the National Health Service Corps through FY 2017.

While we are disappointed the agreement includes hospital payment reductions as an offset, we appreciate that the policies did not disproportionately affect the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals. This bipartisan agreement to achieve a permanent solution to the ongoing threat of Medicare physician payment cuts is an important step toward ensuring that all Americans get the quality health care they need.

We look forward to working with both the House and Senate as they consider this important legislation.”

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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 147 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.

Press Contact
Brooke Bergen, AAMC
202-828-0419
bbergen@aamc.org