NMA Issues Medicare Letter To Congressional Super Committee

African American Black woman shaking doctors hand(BlackDoctor.org) — As physicians, our goal is to advocate for policies that improve, not impede, access to lifesaving therapies, and to do all we can to help patients understand that not taking their medicines as directed is a ‘lose-lose’ proposition for all of us, since decreased medication adherence is likely to lead to increased morbidity and disability, and increased costs down the road for payers and patients alike.

Dear Congressman Jeb Hensarling and Senator Patty Murray:

Medicare Part D is working well for limited income seniors and low-income beneficiaries. While Medicare costs have been soaring, Part D premiums have held steady annually. Far from being a source of inefficiency and waste, Part D sets the standard for delivering better value at lower cost. We would urge the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reject, outright, any deficit reduction proposal that would make Part D drugs less affordable for beneficiaries.

As physicians, our goal is to advocate for policies that improve, not impede, access to lifesaving therapies, and to do all we can to help patients understand that not taking their medicines as directed is a ‘lose-lose’ proposition for all of us, since decreased medication adherence is likely to lead to increased morbidity and disability, and increased costs down the road for payers and patients alike.

Unfortunately, patients’ access to lifesaving therapies is also in jeopardy if there are not enough physicians to prescribe these medicines. The ongoing physician payment crisis under Medicare as a result of Congress’ failure to fix the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) framework will lead to some unfortunate
decisions among the nation’s doctors in the coming weeks, such as refusing to see new Medicare patients.