Urge Congress to Pass the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act and Provide Stable Medicare Physician Payments
Published on: November 15, 2013
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 lasts through the end of March 2014.
On February 6, the leadership of the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees and the Senate Finance Committee announced an agreement on 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 SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act (S. 2000/H.R. 4015) - 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.
As Congress continues to examine physician payment proposals, it is critical that Members of Congress hear from their physician constituents about the need to find a permanent solution for Medicare physician payment and pass the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act.
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