Statement attributable to Jack Lewin, M.D., CEO of the American College of Cardiology on today’s introduction of “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009”
“This bill provides positive first steps toward physician payment reform and repealing the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. Until we completely change the way the payment system is structured in this country we will never bend the cost curve of healthcare spending.
“The ACC applauds the House committees’ efforts to improve the Medicaid program—these important changes are long overdue. The ACC also supports the committees’ efforts to provide funding for PQRI through 2012 and for including an appeals process and providing faster feedback. These are significant positive steps toward quality.
“This legislation appropriately promotes testing out Accountable Care Organizations which have proven to be models for high quality, low cost health care. We hope more emphasis will be placed on quality improvement through the use of registries in order for us all to measure our way to success. In addition, the ACC would encourage the application of physician-developed Appropriate Use Criteria, rather than making arbitrary imaging changes.
“First and most importantly, of course, we absolutely must provide every American with access to health care. As the details emerge, we look forward to more specifics on how payment reforms will ensure that the access reforms are sustainable.