AARP Applauds Fix for Medicare Payments to Doctors

After 17 years of kicking the proverbial can down the road, Congress has come together in bipartisan fashion to repeal and replace Medicare’s flawed formula for reimbursing doctors with an improved payment plan. With President Obama’s April 21 signature of the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), Medicare beneficiaries can finally feel more secure in knowing that they can keep seeing their physicians each year.

p041615lj-0468
President Obama crosses the Rose Garden on his way to signing Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.

AARP has advocated for a permanent fix of the old doctor payment formula, called the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), for many years. Seniors have paid into Medicare through a lifetime of hard work, and they deserve the security of knowing they can keep seeing their doctors. In order for that to happen, doctors need to know that they will be paid fairly by Medicare.

Need Medicare Info? Visit AARP's Medicare Question and Answer Tool »

We applaud Congress for passing this bill with bipartisan support. We also look forward to working with Congress to remove Medicare’s cap on physical therapy, speech-language pathology and occupational therapy services. Removal of these arbitrary caps was proposed in the bipartisan Cardin-Vitter amendment, which had the majority of support in the Senate but ultimately failed (see how your senators voted). Many Medicare patients, particularly stroke victims and people with Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, would benefit greatly from removal of these caps.

One of our goals at AARP is to create an America where people 50-plus have access to the care, information and services they need to lead healthier lives with independence and dignity. MACRA helps achieve that goal by moving Medicare in the right direction toward better-quality health care and greater transparency for patients. These changes will benefit Medicare beneficiaries, as well as physicians and other providers, hospitals and the overall health care system.

Photo: Lawrence Jackson/White House

Also of Interest

 

See the  AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more.

Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
December 11, 2018 10:07 AM
In an election year filled with partisanship and political fights, it’s no surprise that many Americans feel that their voices aren’t being heard or that the issues that affect their lives aren’t being addressed. But, many outstanding elected officials work hard every day to make a positive difference for their constituents.  That’s why AARP recognizes state legislators, governors, and other elected officials – from both sides of the aisle – who have stepped up and worked together to write, support, and advance common-sense policies that help older Americans remain in their homes and communities and retire with confidence. AARP is proud to announce our fifth annual bipartisan class of Capitol Caregivers, who fought this year to increase support for family caregivers and their loved ones, along with our fourth annual bipartisan class of Super Savers, who championed policies that enhance retirement security.
December 05, 2018 01:06 PM
Caroline is a mother of two children and a preschool teacher who unexpectedly became a family caregiver for her father after he suffered a major stroke. Her father, Tom, now deceased, lost the use of his right side and his ability to speak. Multiple surgeries and rehabilitation treatments later, he was able to live at home with the help of nurses. But it was up to Caroline to provide daily care, such as overseeing appointments and handling certain nursing responsibilities, like managing his medications. “I became the person my father could rely on more than anyone in the world,” Caroline said. “I became his safe place and his best friend.” In communities across the country, family caregivers like Caroline are caring for older parents, spouses and other loved ones, helping them to remain at home – where they want to be. Their tasks are done out of love and commitment, but are not easy. That’s why AARP is fighting for family caregivers and their loved ones in every state. In 2018, AARP advanced new policies to provide more help at home, flexibility at work, training, relief and more, which will benefit over 30 million family caregivers. Here are a couple highlights:
November 27, 2018 08:55 AM
A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the vital role that transportation options play in what we at AARP call “livable communities” – great places to live for people of all ages. Being able to get around is critical to earn a living, raise a family, contribute and stay connected to your community and enjoy life. And, having alternatives to getting behind the wheel of your own car is particularly important for older adults who want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.