Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL – The following is a statement from John C. Jennings, MD, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Robert M. Wah, MD, President of the American Medical Association (AMA), and Sandra Hassink, MD, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
"The American Medical Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics applaud today's House passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (HR 2).
"The Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula has led to confusion and instability for health care providers across specialties, including obstetrician-gynecologists and pediatricians. We are grateful for the leadership of Speaker Boehner and House Minority Leader Pelosi in recognizing the importance of SGR repeal and taking active steps to bring about a bipartisan solution and successful vote in support of the bill.
"Reliable payment is essential for physicians to be able to provide the quality care that patients deserve. Permanent SGR repeal will have a real and lasting impact on the ability of health care providers to meet the needs of patients across the country and to plan the futures of their practices without the uncertainty of a temporary 'fix.'
"A system that rewards quality of care over volume of care will help to create a health care system that prioritizes the health and well-being of patients. All of us – from patients to providers – will benefit from such a system.
"Every patient needs access to health insurance that is affordable, high-quality and designed with their unique needs in mind. By extending funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the bill will help to ensure that millions of children, adolescents and pregnant women will have access to the care that they need to keep them healthy. As physicians, we can all stand behind this important goal.
"CHIP is a bipartisan program that works. Since its beginning 17 years ago, the program has worked together with Medicaid to cut the child uninsurance rate in half, offering timely access to high-quality, affordable health insurance. Unlike many private insurance plans, which are based on the health needs of adults, CHIP offers insurance with age-appropriate benefits that is affordable for middle-income families. CHIP plans also provide access to child-specific pediatric subspecialists and surgical specialists.
"We applaud Speaker Boehner and House Minority Leader Pelosi, the House Doctors Caucus, and Republican and Democratic leaders of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees for their collaborative work on this bill, and we look forward to working with members of the Senate on this issue.
"We urge the Senate to recognize the clear consensus about the importance of Medicare SGR repeal and extending funding for CHIP and to quickly take up the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act."
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American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women's health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org
The American Medical Association is the premier national organization dedicated to empowering the nation's physicians to continually provide safer, higher quality, and more efficient care to patients and communities. For more than 165 years the AMA has been unwavering in its commitment to using its unique position and knowledge to shape a healthier future for America. For more information, visit ama-assn.org.