Senate Finance Committee schedules session to discuss repeal of SGR

| November 26, 2013

Modern Healthcare (11/23, Robeznieks, Subscription Publication) reported that “with time running out to prevent a major pay cut for doctors, the Senate Finance Committee scheduled an ‘open executive session’ for Dec. 12 to discuss repealing and replacing the Medicare sustainable growth-rate physician payment formula.” Lawmakers have “released a draft proposal of legislation that contains elements physicians are not thrilled with—such as a 10-year payment freeze and certain quality measures.” At a recent conference, American Medical Association president Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven said, “The proposal before us is a mixed bag.” According to Hoven, “I’m not going to sugarcoat it—there are things I really don’t like about the proposal: Chief among them, the idea of a 10-year payment freeze.”

“Given Washington’s current state of dysfunction, the fact that the Congress was able to come up with a bipartisan, bicameral proposal is in itself an incredible accomplishment and ‘proof of the widespread recognition that the SGR has to go,’ she said.” AMA members from 35 states met with congressional leaders Nov. 19 to repeal the SGR this year.

Meanwhile, AMA Wire (11/23) reported, “Nearly 260 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a Nov. 20 letter that urges Congress to repeal Medicare’s failed SGR formula by the year’s end.” The letter, “released Friday by Reps. Bill Flores, R-Texas, and Dan Maffei, D-N.Y….bears the signatures of the majority of House lawmakers.” It “cites the current cost of repeal – half of what it was last year – as the ‘fiscally responsible step’ toward Medicare reform and states that Congress ‘should not pass up this chance to repeal the SGR … and enact a permanent solution.’”

 

Category: Pathology News

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