Contact: Amy Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-375-6476Washington, DC – Dr. Jack Lewin, CEO of the American College of Cardiology, made the following statement Wednesday regarding the Baucus draft:
"We appreciate Chairman Baucus's hard work on this very important piece of legislation.
"I am excited to see the CMS innovation center idea that will focus on better payment and outcomes in this draft. We are also happy to see a mention of tort reform which is a step in the right direction, and we hope to see tort reform in the final package.
"While we appreciate the effort to stop the 22 percent cut to physician reimbursements under Medicare scheduled to take place next year, we believe you can't have complete health reform until you permanently eliminate the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment formula. I shudder to think of how that 1-year band-aid will lead us to spend the next year trying to fix that formula to prevent a payment disaster instead of working on the quality projects patients deserve. Failure to permanently eliminate the SGR means patient access is threatened while Congress plays chicken with Medicare benefits year after year.
"Ironically, the highest quality care in this country is not the most expensive care. The most effective way to bend the cost curve is to put the incentives on the table for doctors and hospitals to improve quality and care systematically by using evidence-based tools.
"The American College of Cardiology is well positioned to lead this effort. With over 43 percent of all Medicare dollars spent fighting heart disease, the ACC has tools in place to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse out of the system.
The American College of Cardiology is leading the way to optimal cardiovascular care and disease prevention. The College is a 36,000-member nonprofit medical society and bestows the credential Fellow of the American College of Cardiology upon physicians who meet its stringent qualifications. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and is a staunch supporter of cardiovascular research. The ACC provides professional education and operates national registries for the measurement and improvement of quality care. More information about the association is available online at www.acc.org .
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) provides these news reports of clinical studies published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology as a service to physicians, the media, the public and other interested parties. However, statements or opinions expressed in these reports reflect the view of the author(s) and do not represent official policy of the ACC unless stated so.