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Healthcare Leaders React to Super Committee's Failure

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 23, 2011

SGR Cut Looms
One of the casualties of the Super Committee's failure to come up with a plan is the looming Sustainable Growth Rate cut, slated to slash physicians' Medicare and TRICARE fees by 27.4% starting in 38 days, a lot sooner than the sequester.

Both the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians issued statements predicting doom.

"Left in the wreckage of the Super Committee process are plans to automatically impose unprecedented cuts in health care programs—cuts that will within weeks endanger Medicare beneficiaries' and military families' access to care, and later, cause unsustainable cuts to many other critical programs to reduce disease, protect public health and safety, and ensure that patients have access to doctors," says Virginia Hood, ACP president.

Peter W. Carmel, MD, AMA president, adds that his group "is deeply concerned that continued instability in the Medicare program, including the looming 27% cut scheduled for Jan. 1, will force many physicians to limit the number of Medicare and TRICARE patients they can care for in their practices. Congress has ignored the reality that short-term patches have grown the problem immensely."

Of course, there's still time for anything to happen.  Congress set these rules in motion, and during the noise of an election season coming up, smart people are betting that everything will look a lot different this time a year from now.


Reporting contributed by Karen Minich-Pourshadi.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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