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Physicians Express Concern Over Federal Regulation Deadlines

March 30, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The Washington D.C.-based activist organization, the American Medical Association (AMA) along with various state and national medical specialty societies, have sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) expressing their concern with what they call “an onslaught of overlapping regulations that affect physicians.”   They cite the value-based modifier, penalties under the electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) program, physician quality reporting system (PQRS) and electronic health record (EHR) incentive program, along with the transition to ICD-10, as examples of this “onslaught.”

“Facing all of these deadlines at once is overwhelming to physicians, whose top priority is patients,” AMA President-elect Jeremy Lazarus, M.D., said in a statement. “We have asked CMS to develop solutions for implementing these regulations in a way that reduces the burden on physicians and allows them to keep their focus where it should be – caring for patients.”

AMA has been vocal about their complaints about the ICD-10 transition. They were among the leading voices that called for a delay to the ICD-10 compliance date, which HHS eventually complied with.

Lazarus also points out that along with these deadlines; physicians who treat Medicare patients are also currently facing a drastic cut of about 30 percent on Jan, 1 from “the broken Medicare physician payment formula.” He says, “The combination of these financial burdens could prevent physicians from making the investments needed to transition to new models of care delivery and improve the value and quality of care in the Medicare system.”

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