Key committees in the House and Senate yesterday announced a compromise supported by Democrats and Republicans to replace the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula with a half percent increase per year over the next five years.
The accord on eliminating the so-called “doc fix” is similar to what the House Energy and Commerce Committee proposed back in July that offered modest annual increases until 2019 when the compensation would be based on physician performance. Energy and Commerce has been joined by the powerful Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees.
While leadership in both houses of Congress and both sides of the aisle have been almost unanimous in their support of eliminating the SGR (which this year would have resulted in a 20 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements for physicians), what has yet to be resolved is how to pay for the new program. Mary Agnes Carey at Kaiser Health News has published a comprehensive story on the challenges of funding the new legislation.
CMS Announces 20 Percent Cut in Physician Fees
House Committee Releases SGR Reform Proposal
American College of Physicians Offers 19-Point Plan to Replace SGR
House of Representatives Seeks Input on Bill Scrapping ‘Doc Fix’