• According to the display copy of the Physician Fee Schedule, physician payments for Medicare and TRICARE services will be reduced by more than 30 percent for sleep medicine.
  • Congress may take action this week during its “lame duck” session to reverse the payment cuts.
  • The AASM encourages all members to get involved through the Member Action Network.
Dear Member:

As I communicated to you last week, the 2011 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule was released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Unless Congress acts, physician payments for Medicare and TRICARE services will be reduced by more than 30 percent for sleep medicine.

Congress has convened a “lame duck” session this week to resolve outstanding legislative issues. It is critical that both the House of Representatives and the Senate take action this week to forestall the looming cuts to our payments for critical health care we provide to Medicare beneficiaries. In a letter to members of the House of Representatives and Senate, the AASM has urged Congress to pass legislation that prevents the reduction to Medicare payments. Now, we need you to help preserve our patients’ access to care and your professional livelihood.

Visit the AASM’s website to learn more about the 2011 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule, the implications the Final Rule has for your practice, and actions the AASM is taking to safeguard the sleep medicine field and protect our patients’ access to quality care.

Personally, I encourage you to get involved – Congress needs to hear how the reductions outlined in the Final Rule affect you and your patients. The AASM’s online Member Action Network has resources that you can use to communicate with your elected officials, local media and your patients. The Member Action Network also has a section devoted to questions from members about the Final Rule; please submit your questions either through the forum or by e-mail to the Board of Directors.

I also encourage you to educate your patients about this issue; reductions to physician payments for Medicare services jeopardize both their access to care and their quality of care. The AASM has developed resources in the online Patient Action Network that your patients can use to reach out to their Congressional representatives and media.

Lastly, the Board of Directors invites an open dialogue with members about the 2011 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule. Please send an e-mail to me or any of the Directors of the Board with your questions or comments.

The AASM is committed to protecting your professional livelihood, safeguarding the field and ensuring access to quality care for patients. I will continue to keep you informed about our ongoing initiatives and your opportunities for involvement as together we work to ensure the rate of payment you receive adequately covers the expense of the quality care you provide to patients who are Medicare beneficiaries.

Patrick Strollo, MD