Time is running out to stop a steep 10.6 percent cut in Medicare physician payments scheduled for July 1.

The American Medical Association (AMA), in testimony this week to the House Small Business Committee, urged Congress to take immediate action to avert looming cuts that will harm seniors’ access to care. Now Congress needs to hear from physicians about how critical the Save Medicare Act of 2008 (S. 2785) is for doctors and seniors.

S. 2785 would prevent the 10.6 percent cut in Medicare physician payments planned for July 1, retain current payment levels for the remainder of 2008 and enact a 1.8 percent increase for 2009. The bill would also continue "rural extender" provisions that are set to expire, and would give Congress time to work on a long-term solution to the broken Medicare payment system.

Physicians can all the AMA Grassroots Hotline at (800) 833-6354 to be connected to their members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor and pass S. 2785.

Visit www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/14332.html to download the AMA’s Medicare Physician Payment Action Kit, which includes details about the bill and how you can voice your support for it.