'Deep concern and disappointment' with exclusion of Medicare from SCHIP legislation

September 20, 2007

(Washington) - Expressions of "deep concern and disappointment about reports that the pending SCHIP reauthorization will go forward without addressing several issues that are critical to access to care for Medicare beneficiaries" were sent today to congressional leaders by the American College of Physicians (ACP). David C. Dale, MD, FACP, president of ACP, sent letters on behalf of the 124,000 internal medicine physicians and medical student members of ACP.

Dr. Dale thanked House leadership for supporting enactment of the Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007 (CHAMP), which would re-authorize the SCHIP program and make essential improvements in Medicare. He expressed disappointment, though, that the reported House-Senate agreement does not include relief from pending physician payment cuts and other essential Medicare improvements. (over)

"ACP will continue to urge members of Congress and the President to agree to legislation that reauthorizes and improves coverage for children under SCHIP," Dr. Dale emphasized to all congressional leaders. He expressed appreciation for the key Medicare provisions that were included in the House-passed CHAMP bill, but urged House leaders to continue to work toward a prompt agreement with the Senate on getting those provisions enacted and signed into law. In the letter to Senate leaders, Dr. Dale expressed deep concern about the Senate's unwillingness to take up the Medicare provisions as part of SCHIP legislation, and similarly urged them to work with their House counterparts "to reach prompt agreement on Medicare legislation to preserve and improve access to care for America's seniors."

The letter listed three policies that ACP believes need to be included in an acceptable Medicare bill: The ACP letter urged congressional leaders to work for enactment of a bill that incorporates several other important improvements from CHAMP: expand Medicare coverage for preventive benefits, reduce cost-sharing for mental health, and continue the floor on geographic payment adjustments for physician services.

Dr. Dale concluded by noting that, "America's children and seniors both deserve the best health care possible. Congress must enact legislation to maintain SCHIP coverage for children. Congress must also preserve and improve access to care for senior and disabled patients under traditional Medicare by enacting positive physician payment updates for the next two years, paying for those updates without budget gimmicks, mandating an expanded demonstration of the Medicare medical home demonstration, and making other improvements in Medicare. We urge you to do everything possible to assure that agreement is reached soon with your Senate colleagues on legislation that includes these essential Medicare improvements.

Our physician members and their patients will expect nothing less."

The letters were addressed to:

Hon. Harry Reid, majority leader, United States Senate
Hon. Mitch McConnell, minority leader, United States Senate
Hon. Max Baucus, chairman, Senate Finance Committee
Hon. Charles Grassley, ranking minority member, Senate Finance Committee
Hon. Nancy Pelosi, speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
Hon. Charles Rangel, chairman, House Ways and Means Committee
Hon. Pete Stark, chairman, Subcommittee on Health, House Ways and Means Committee
Hon. John Dingell, chairman, House Energy and Commerce Committee
-end-
The American College of Physicians is the nation's largest medical specialty organization. Membership is composed of 124,000 internal medicine physicians (internists) and medical students. Internists provide the majority of health care to adults in America. Internists are specialists in adult medicine and provide comprehensive care to adult patients.

American College of Physicians

Related Health Care Articles from Brightsurf:

Study evaluates new World Health Organization Labor Care Guide for maternity care providers
The World Health Organization developed the new Labor Care Guide to support clinicians in providing good quality, women-centered care during labor and childbirth.

Six ways primary care "medical homes" are lowering health care spending
New analysis of 394 U.S. primary care practices identifies the aspects of care delivery that are associated with lower health care spending and lower utilization of emergency care and hospital admissions.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

Spending on primary care vs. other US health care expenditures
National health care survey data were used to assess the amount of money spent on primary care relative to other areas of health care spending in the US from 2002 to 2016.

MU Health Care neurologist publishes guidance related to COVID-19 and stroke care
A University of Missouri Health Care neurologist has published more than 40 new recommendations for evaluating and treating stroke patients based on international research examining the link between stroke and novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Large federal program aimed at providing better health care underfunds primary care
Despite a mandate to help patients make better-informed health care decisions, a ten-year research program established under the Affordable Care Act has funded a relatively small number of studies that examine primary care, the setting where the majority of patients in the US receive treatment.

International medical graduates care for Medicare patients with greater health care needs
A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital research team indicates that internal medicine physicians who are graduates of medical schools outside the US care for Medicare patients with more complex medical needs than those cared for by graduates of American medical schools.

The Lancet Global Health: Improved access to care not sufficient to improve health, as epidemic of poor quality care revealed
Of the 8.6 million deaths from conditions treatable by health care, poor-quality care is responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths per year -- more than deaths due to insufficient access to care (3.6 million) .

Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health
By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health.

High-deductible health care plans curb both cost and usage, including preventive care
A team of researchers based at IUPUI has conducted the first systematic review of studies examining the relationship between high-deductible health care plans and the use of health care services.

Read More: Health Care News and Health Care Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.