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SPECIAL ISSUE Capitol Hill Report: SGR Compromise

February 6, 2014

By Mike Amery, Esq., Legislative Counsel and Rod Larson, Chief Health Policy Officer

SGR Repeal Legislation Introduced
Compromise legislation to permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate formula for Medicare physician payment has been agreed to by the House Ways & Means Committee, House Energy & Commerce Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee. The legislation details are being analyzed by AAN staff and a full summary and the implications for our membership will be forthcoming. One significant barrier for passage is how the package-expected to be between $130-145 billion over 10 years-will be paid for through budget offsets. The Senate Finance Committee released this summary:

Summary of the Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation
The proposal would:

  • Repeal the SGR and end the annual threat to seniors' care, while instituting a 0.5 percent payment update for five years
  • Improve the fee-for-service system by streamlining Medicare's existing web of quality programs into one value-based performance program. It increases payment accuracy and encourages physicians to adopt proven practices
  • Incentivize movement to alternative payment models to encourage doctors and providers to focus more on coordination and prevention to improve quality and reduce costs
  • Make Medicare more transparent by giving patients more access to information and supplying doctors with data they can use to improve care

Look for additional analysis in the next Capitol Hill Report.

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