American Society of Hematology

Urge the Senate to Pass H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015

Published on: March 31, 2015

Each year, physicians who treat Medicare beneficiaries are subject to significant payment cuts as a result of flaws in the SGR formula that is currently used to establish annual Medicare physician updates. While Congress has acted in the past to prevent scheduled cuts, it has provided only temporary fixes that put off the problem and have increased the cost of a permanent solution. The latest temporary fix passed by Congress lasted through the end of March 2015.

On March 26, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), a flawed formula mandating scheduled reductions in Medicare physician payments, and replace it with a 0.5 percent annual physician pay increase for the next five years. The legislation - the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 - also establishes a merit-based incentive payment system starting in 2018 that will recognize physician performance related to quality measure reporting, resource use, electronic health record-meaningful use, and clinical improvement activities.

The House of Representatives passed this bill with extraordinary bipartisan support, but the Senate adjourned for spring recess before considering the bill.  It is critical that Senators hear from their physician constituents about the need to pass the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 immediately upon their return from recess on April 13, in order to avoid large payment cuts for services provided in April.  Because Medicare must hold claims for two weeks for payment, a bill passed in the week of April 13 would result in no payment delays or cuts.

Please take a moment to click the "Take Action" link below to send an e-mail to your Senators.

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* Please note that ASH has transitioned to a new e-Advocacy platform. If you currently have an ASH account, your e-Advocacy login will be your e-mail address and your password will be the word "grassroots" - upon your first login you will be requested to change your password. If you do not have an ASH account you can create an e-Advocacy account after you click "Take Action" above. IF you encounter any issues, please contact ASH Government and Scientific Affairs Associate, Foster Curry.

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