AMA President Peter W. Carmel, MD in his opening-session speech of 2011 AMA Interim Meeting.

Peter W. Carmel, MD, says there would be a massive disruption in care if Congress doesn’t prevent the reduction, set to begin Jan. 1.

With only weeks left before a 27.4% Medicare physician pay cut takes effect, American Medical Association President Peter W. Carmel, MD, called on doctors to keep the heat on Congress to avert the reduction.

He said doctors need to be a voice for change and push for the repeal of the sustainable growth rate formula that determines physicians’ Medicare payments.

“Let’s keep the pressure on. Remember, every voice counts,” Dr. Carmel said in an opening-session speech on Nov. 12 at the AMA Interim Meeting at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

The pay cut is set to start Jan. 1, 2012, unless Congress acts. If the reduction occurs, there would be massive disruptions in care to the nation’s elderly, disabled and military family members, Dr. Carmel said. 
The AMA has also asked the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to work on repealing the sustainable growth rate formula. “It is impossible for the nation to climb out of its financial hole if we do not address the broken Medicare system now,” Dr. Carmel said.