America's Frontline Physicians Concerned About Administration's Plans to Suspend Risk Adjustment Payments

Our organizations, which represent more than 560,000 physicians and medical students, are concerned with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recent decision to suspend the risk adjustment payments to insurers participating in the individual and small-group marketplaces. These payments are funded by contributions from insurance plans and not from taxpayer dollars. The funds help protect patients by allowing insurers to compete without cherry-picking healthy consumers over those with chronic illnesses and pre-existing conditions.

The suspension of risk adjustment payments could lead to significant premium increases across the country – resulting in families, especially those with chronic health conditions and pre-existing conditions, losing their health care coverage due to insurer departures from the market or the inability to afford coverage. This decision contradicts the Administration’s pledge to provide individuals and families with more options to secure affordable health care coverage.

As physicians who provide the majority of Americans’ most essential medical care, we can attest to the importance of ensuring that the people who need care the most are able to secure affordable health care coverage. We remain committed to working with the Administration and Congress to improve our nation’s health care system. Stabilizing our health care system and lowering the overall cost of health care is part of our mission, and should remain the focus of the Administration in addressing health care.

We strongly urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to reverse its decision to halt the risk adjustment payments, and to instead pursue innovative policy solutions that improve affordability for all individuals.

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About the American Academy of Family Physicians

Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 124,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits — that's 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America's underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine's cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. Follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP's award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).

About the American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.

About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 152,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

About the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women's health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion. www.acog.org

About the American Osteopathic Association

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 129,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. Visit DoctorsThatDO.org to learn more about osteopathic medicine.

About the American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,800 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA's vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.

Media Contacts

American Psychiatric Association

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Pediatrics

American College of Physicians

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American Osteopathic Association