American Academy of Emergency Medicine


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AAEM Action Alert: Please Contact Your Representatives to Urge Support for a Permanent Doc Fix

Posted Wednesday, February 26th, 2014


On April 1, the current patch to the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (“SGR,” or the “doc fix”) will expire. At that time, a 23.7 percent Medicare pay cut is scheduled to go into effect for all physicians. Congress is currently considering options to prevent this cut from taking effect, including a permanent fix or a short-term patch that will provide temporary relief. In February, bipartisan legislation was introduced by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee to permanently repeal the SGR and replace it with a positive payment update for physicians of 0.5 percent over each of the next five years. Following the period of stable updates, payments will again be adjusted, and physicians would be able to begin earning additional payment adjustments for meeting benchmarks.

We urge you to contact your Senators and Representative(s) to urge them to support this bill, The SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4015/S. 2000). Provided below is a form letter that can be used to assist in your outreach to Congress. Please do not hesitate to email us at info@aaem.org if you require assistance in finding contact information for your Members of Congress.

Draft Letter for Members of Congress:

February xx, 2014

Dear Senator/Representative _______:

As an emergency physician and as your constituent, I write to ask that you co-sponsor The SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4015/S. 2000). This legislation permanently fixes the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), and replaces it with a responsible system that puts patients first.

Without Congressional intervention, another major cut to Medicare payments is set to take effect on April 1, 2014. The SGR is a flawed payment system that constantly threatens physicians with drastic cuts, leading to uncertainty and causing some doctors to stop seeing Medicare patients altogether. As other physicians choose to drop patients due to this uncertainty, this burden is shifted to our nation’s emergency departments.

There is broad support for this bipartisan legislation among the medical community and special societies. Organizations supporting this legislation include the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM), of which I am a member. The bill provides needed certainty to both patients and physicians, and it does so without replacing the current system with a “one size fits all” approach to quality of care metrics. I strongly support a robust role for specialty societies to work in conjunction with medical boards to develop these commonsense quality measures.

Thank you for your consideration and I hope that you can support this legislation that will permanently repeal the SGR and replace it with a payment system that rewards quality care. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions and I look forward to hearing from you.


______________________ (Name)

______________________ (Hospital Address/Home Address)

_______________________ (Contact Information)