Contact Your Legislator — Tell Them to Repeal the SGR

This week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) — the flawed Medicare physician payment formula. Passage of this bill before the end of the year is necessary to avoid a 21 percent cut in Medicare payment to physicians scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2010.

Take Action — Contact Your Legislators

In order to help you more easily reach your members of Congress, the Alliance of Specialty Medicine and the AGA have established a legislative hotline, which will allow you to reach your legislators’ offices directly, free of charge.

The hotline can be reached at 1-866-899-4088; the four digit specialty code for AGA is 4242. You will be prompted to enter your home zip code to be connected to your two senators’ and representative’s offices in succession.

Once transferred, you may want to state:

 “As a physician and constituent, I urge you to support H.R. 3961. A long-term fix to the sustainable growth rate is necessary to implement true health-care reform and ensure continued access to specialist physicians.”

You can also use AGA’s online advocacy system to contact your legislator to tell them you support the passage of H.R. 3961.

About H.R. 3961

H.R. 3961, the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009, would:

  • Rebase the Medicare SGR formula.
  • Prevent the impending 21 percent pay cut for physicians.
  • Provide an increase in 2010 based on the Medicare Economic Index.
  • Replace the SGR, starting in 2011, with two separate spending targets: (1) E&M codes that experience higher growth, and (2) all other codes.

The AGA and the Alliance of Specialty Medicine have worked to ensure that a permanent SGR fix is a part of the health-care reform debate and strongly supports passage of this legislation.

Because a vote on H.R. 3961 in the House of Representatives is imminent, your call is necessary to urge your Representative to vote in support of this bill. True health-care reform is not possible without fixing the broken Medicare physician payment system to protect patient access to specialty medicine.

The AGA will continue to monitor this process and advocate for a fair and equitable payment system that ensures patient access to high-quality care.