Home > Health Care Policy > U.S. Congress Working to Replace Physician Sustainable Growth Rate

U.S. Congress Working to Replace Physician Sustainable Growth Rate

The U.S. Congress is currently working on legislation to replace the physician sustainable growth rate. Since 2002, this has become a highly debated topic in Congress that has resulted in 14 CRs (short-term measure) being passed that were aimed to delay a 30% cut to physician Medicare payments. H.R. 5707 introduced and aimed at replacing the SGR.

To get things started, The U.S. Senate Finance Committee held a roundtable discussion on the matter last week. You can view the discussion at http://www.finance.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=ce954372-5056-a032-5269-10f65a59f5d4. In a statement, Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said : “Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula has not worked as planned. The annual cuts the formula calls for have snowballed the problem.” Ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said in a statement: “We must provide a stable foundation for paying physicians today, not five or 10 years from now.”

On May 9, a billed aimed at replacing the SGR was introduced. H.R. 5707: Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act of 2012 was officially introduced in the House by members Allyson Schwartz (D-PA, former hospital CEO) and Dr. Joe Heck ,DO (R-NV, physician). The bill can be read here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr5707ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr5707ih.pdf. In order for the bill to be successful, it will need to have FULL support by all of the physicians in Congress. The physicians that need to be encouraged to pass it are: John Barrasso (R-WY), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Rand Paul (R-KY), Dan Benishek (R-MI), John Boustany (R-LA), Paul Broun (R-GA), Michael Burgess (R-TX), Larry Buschon (R-IN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), John Fleming (R-LA), Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Andy Harris (R-MD), Nan Hayworth (R-NY), Ron Paul (R-TX), Tom Price (R-GA), Phil Roe (R-TN), Donna Christensen (D-VI), and Jim McDermott (D-WA).

Stay tuned to this blog for further updates on this story.

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Sources:

http://www.finance.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=ce954372-5056-a032-5269-10f65a59f5d4

http://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/05102012_Baucus_Roundtable_Statement_Regarding_the_Medicare_Physician_Payment_System%5b1%5d.pdf

http://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/05%2010%2012%20Hatch%20Opening%20Statement%20for%20SGR%20Roundtable.pdf

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr5707ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr5707ih.pdf

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