American Society of Hematology

House Energy and Commerce Committee Has Hearing to Address the Sustainable Growth Rate

Published on: May 05, 2011

In its first of a series of hearings to address the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), the House Energy & Commerce Committee held a hearing May 5, entitled "The Need to Move Beyond the SGR." Information regarding the Hearing, including the list of witnesses who testified and their corresponding testimony, can be accessed on the Committee’s Web site.

Prior to the start of the series of hearings, ASH submitted comments to the House Energy and Commerce Committee in response to the Committee’s request for proposals to reform the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) system. In its comments, ASH expressed its concern that continual threats to reductions to the conversion factor need to be eliminated and recommended that Congress take the following steps:

  • Establish a predictable and stable system for updating fees over time to fully and realistically account for the costs of operating a medical practice.
  • Address the imbalance in payments for cognitive services compared to procedural services.
  • Recognize specialty expertise under the fee schedule and value appropriately.

In addition to the letter, ASH’s Committee on Practice met with Congressional offices during its recent Hill Day to share the Society’s concerns and recommendations regarding the SGR. Congress must pass legislation by December 31, 2011 to avert a scheduled physician payment cut of 29 percent caused by the SGR. ASH will keep members apprised of information about the remaining SGR hearings and the Society’s related advocacy activities.

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