August 6, 2007 – In a statement on The Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007 (CHAMP Act) (H.R. 3162), which the House passed with a vote of 225-204 on August 1 of 2007, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) responded to lawmakers, urging them to address serious concerns about this bill’s proposed new physician payment structure.
The CHAMP Act includes proposals to head off scheduled Medicare payment cuts to doctors totaling 10 percent in 2008 and 5 percent in 2009, replacing them with a small positive update in each of the two years. Without such relief, cardiologists on average are facing a 15 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursement in 2008.
The bill also includes a new payment structure based on a system of separate expenditure, with targets, according to the ACC, that “are arbitrarily set without taking into account the appropriate growth of services provided to Medicare beneficiaries.” The ACC believes that this structure “would only perpetuate the flawed payment system. Many services that are critical to the everyday care of cardiovascular patients would be unfairly penalized under a separate expenditure target system unless the targets take into account appropriate growth.”
The ACC urges Congress to consider these issues before any final legislation is passed. “While the ACC appreciates congressional efforts to stop Medicare physician payment cuts, it is critical that any new payment structure is fair to all physicians.”
For more information: www.acc.org