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Congress Recesses Without Action On The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)

us_capitolThe House and Senate have adjourned for the two-week April recess without sending temporary legislation to the President to halt the 21.2% Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) cut. The cut is expected to take effect for a short time beginning on April 1 until Congress returns and seeks retroactive action after April 12.

On March 17, the House passed by voice vote the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4851), which includes a provision to postpone the SGR cut through April 30. Senate leaders sought unanimous consent to pass the measure today but were unable to move forward in the midst of objections related to the deficit impact of other items in the legislation, such as unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits. The Senate has scheduled a vote to end debate (invoke cloture) on the bill for 5:30 PM on April 12.

We will keep you informed of any communications or instructions provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would be helpful to participating psychologists.

As you know, the current payment situation is untenable for patients and providers. American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) will continue to press Congress for immediate action and the permanent replacement of the flawed SGR formula.

During the April recess, your Senators need to hear from you that Congress must immediately halt the 21.2% cut to Medicare provider payments and permanently replace the flawed the SGR formula.

Targets:
All U.S. Senators

Action:
Call your Senators to immediately halt the SGR cut and permanently replace the flawed SGR formula

Between now and April 12, please call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to one of your Senators. Deliver the message below and personalize it to include how the cut would affect your patients and practice. After you have given the message to the Senate staffer, repeat the effort with your other Senator.

Message:
I am calling as a constituent and psychologist in ___________ (city, state) to urge the Senator to immediately halt the 21.2% Sustainable Growth Rate cut to Medicare payments and work to permanently replace the flawed SGR formula as soon as possible. This cut will have severe consequences for patients’ access to quality mental health care and must be addressed immediately.

Jeff Cook, J.D.
Director of Field & State Operations
American Psychological Association Practice Organization
750 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20002
(202) 336-5875 (Office)
(202) 336-5797 (Fax)
jco@apa.org (click to verify and reveal email)

Republished with permission: APAPO

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