AMA Launches Ad Campaign To Push Senators On ‘Doc Fix’CNN Money: The American Medical Association is launching an ad campaign to push lawmakers to stop a scheduled 21 percent cut to Medicare doctors' pay. "The House voted May 28 to delay the cuts for 19 months, but the Senate did not take action before the Memorial Day recess. The AMA's TV, radio and print ads slam senators for failing to pass the 'doc fix' before taking their week-long break. The group has a long history of pushing to reform the formula used to calculate Medicare payments to doctors. The ads feature a lot of air travel imagery, implying that lawmakers are jetting off to luxe locales while their constituents suffer." Cuts were slated to begin June 1, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has instructed workers to hold claims for payment for 10 days while Congress works to solve the problem, and the AMA is using its latest ads to push for a permanent fix (Pepitone, 6/3).
Roll Call: The AMA also has a survey that shows doctors are beginning to limit the number of Medicare patients they accept because of the payment formula. "In a conference call with reporters, AMA President J. James Rohack, a doctor, accused Senators of turning their backs on seniors and 'leaving for vacation' without dealing with the payment issue. He also said military families will be affected because physician rates for TRICARE, the military health insurance plan, are tied to Medicare." The survey involved 9,000 physicians who treat Medicare patients and found 17 percent of the doctors are restricting the number of Medicare patients they see (Roth, 6/3). This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.