During the month of August, Congress adjourns so legislators have an opportunity to work in their districts or states and meet with constituents. ASCRS is asking members to help make the case for an SGR repeal and meet with representatives or senators during the district work period. As we previously reported, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bill to repeal and replace the SGR right before the start of the August break. It is a crucial time to make sure legislators hear our message.
Visit the ASCRS eyeContact Action Center to get contact information for your legislators  and read tips for meeting with members of Congress.  You may either meet one-on-one or attend a town hall meeting that legislators often hold during August.
ASCRS supports efforts to repeal the SGR, but has a few outstanding concerns with the current legislation. Be sure to tell your legislators that as the bill moves through the process, the below principles must be incorporated.
- We must repeal the SGR and replace it with a Medicare physician payment system that adequately compensates physicians for their services.
- Any new payment model must include a fee-for-service option as many alternative models are incompatible with ophthalmology. The committee-passed version maintains a fee-for-service option, although modified, that must be included in the final enacted version.
- Payment updates may be based on quality and performance measures, but they should be based on positive incentives and not be punitive.
- The development of quality measures should be physician-led and relevant to particular specialties.
Provide examples of how the SGR negatively impacts your practice and your patients. Tell your legislator that the SGR, and not knowing whether Congress will act or not, has led to years of uncertainty about whether significant payment reductions will go into effect. This uncertainty is compounded by the threat of possible penalties from other programs such as the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program and the Value-Based Payment Modifier. Continued threats to physician pay may make it difficult for physicians to continue treating Medicare patients.
A full summary of the current legislation, H.R. 2810, the Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act, is available at the ASCRS eyeContact Action Center. 
The ASCRS eyeContact Action Center has all the resources you need to get started. If you would like help setting up your meeting or finding out about upcoming town hall meetings, please contact Allison Dickert, manager of PAC and grassroots, at email@example.com  or 703-591-2220.