How to turn $3 million in to $3.1 billion

The AMA announced today that it led a $3 million grass roots campaign to avert the proposed 10% cut in Medicare physician payment, which resulted in a 0.5% increase through June 30, 2008, a $3.1 billion increase instead.

While it falls short of a proposed 2-year plan, it’s still a big win – nice going, AMA! (See also ‘RVU update #7’)

Per the AMA, key elements of 2007 Medicare-SCHIP package are as follows:

  • Replaces 10.1 percent cut with 0.5 percent increase through June 30, 2008. If Congress fails to take action before the end of next June, physicians will face a cut of approximately 10.6 percent
  • Authorizes additional 1.5 percent bonus for Medicare physician quality reporting initiative (PQRI activities) through Dec. 31, 2008
    Extends floor for work geographic adjustment and physician scarcity bonus through June 30, 2008
  • Budget offsets: remove $1.5 billion from Medicare Advantage stabilization fund; eliminate physician payment fund carried over from 2006 Medicare package and reduce payments for some Part B drugs
  • Extends therapy cap exceptions, pathology billing exception and premium assistance for some low-income seniors for six months
  • Extends SCHIP funding through March 31, 2009 (additional funding for current enrollment)

If you would like to join the effort or get involved:

  • Join the Physician Grassroots Network at
  • Register for the AMA National Advocacy Conference: The AMA’s National Advocacy Conference scheduled for April 1-2 in Washington, D.C., provides a timely opportunity for medicine to make “house calls” on Capitol Hill. Join your colleagues in meetings with Members of Congress to press for real reforms
  • Find out more about AMPAC. With so much at stake in the 2008 congressional elections, the American Medical Association Political Action Committee (AMPAC) is gearing up to be a pivotal force in key races for the U. S. House and Senate. A new major donor category, Capitol Club Gold, has been created to assure adequate resources for this effort. AMPAC is consistently recognized as one of the most effective political action committees in the country. To learn more about AMPAC, visit

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