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AARP Encouraged by Agreement on Medicare Physician Payment System Reform

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The following statement was issued Feb. 6, 2014, from Joyce Rogers, senior vice president, Government Affairs, in reaction to the bipartisan agreement on the Medicare physician payment formula:


AARP Urges Congress to seek responsible offset options; 

Reject proposals asking people with Medicare to pay more


  “AARP is encouraged by the bipartisan agreement reached to fix Medicare’s flawed physician payment formula and replace it with a system that rewards health care professionals for the quality and value of the services they provide."  

“In order to guarantee the best possible care, we urge Congress to require quality measures to be endorsed by a consensus-based entity which includes stakeholder input and provides uniformity to the development process. Additionally, we remain concerned that health care extenders, which protect Medicare beneficiaries, were not included in this policy proposal. AARP believes the Qualifying Individual (QI) low-income premium subsidy must be made permanent. Congress must ensure the QI program and other vital support programs are available to help low-income beneficiaries pay for the cost of care.

“As Congress moves forward and looks at ways to pay for this important legislation, AARP urges Congress to seek responsible options, many of which AARP has previously recommended. Since Medicare beneficiaries already pay for a portion of the annual provider payment increases through their Part B premiums, we ask Congress to reject proposals that unfairly ask America’s seniors to pay more by offsetting the cost of this policy fix on the backs of seniors.”


Editor's Note Read this story in the AARP Bulletin for a more in-depth understanding of what this legislation means for  Medicare patients and their doctors. 


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