July 5, 2011 – A statement was issued by Peter W. Carmel, M.D., the president of the American Medical Association (AMA), regarding cuts to Medicare payments for diagnostic imaging.
“The AMA strongly opposes a proposal to use significant cuts to Medicare payments for diagnostic imaging to offset the cost of a trade agreement. The stability of our Medicare system should be a top priority for policymakers – not a bargaining chip for unrelated negotiations,” Carmel said.
“Patients and physicians are struggling with a broken Medicare physician payment system that will result in a nearly 30 percent cut on January 1, threatening access to care for seniors. Diagnostic imaging in particular has already seen significant reductions over the past five years, with payments for some services down over 60 percent and additional cuts scheduled to occur. These proposed cuts would further threaten patients’ access to care,” Carmel said.