A new ad launched today by AARP and the American Medical Association, urges the U.S. Senate to fix a flawed physician-payment formula, which is set to reduce payments to doctors caring for veterans and Medicare patients by an unprecedented 21 percent in March of this year.
The ad explains to viewers that such a drastic cut in reimbursement rates could deny countless veterans and older Americans access to care. The ad urges viewers to join the AARP–AMA fight to protect their health by calling their senators and telling them to permanently fix the physician payment formula.
The threat of such steep cuts in Medicare payment rates puts access to care in jeopardy because it means doctors may stop taking Medicare patients. Knowing these cuts are a month away also erodes physicians' confidence in the government's commitment to keeping Medicare strong and reliable.
"Our members tell us that ensuring access to their physicians is a top priority," said AARP executive vice president, Nancy LeaMond. "We urge Congress to give America's seniors peace of mind by permanently fixing the physician payment formula."
For seven years, Congress has taken a Band-Aid approach to fixing the flawed formula. Instead of permanently replacing it with a solid payment system that guarantees older Americans access to their doctors, Congress has passed a series of short-term patches. This has only served to increase the size of future cuts and the cost of subsequent interventions.
The ad will run in Georgia, Florida, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin.