SGR overhaul expected to be part of debt bill
The Senate is expected to vote this week on a measure that would repeal the Medicare formula that dictates physician payment. Details were unavailable at deadline, but two healthcare lobbyists said that legislation to refigure the sustainable growth rate would be attached as an amendment to a bigger bill that aims to increase the country’s debt ceiling. That measure has already cleared the House. Last November, the House passed a bill that essentially revamps the SGR, which is based on the economy’s health and has produced cuts to physician payments every year since 2003. Congress has stepped in each time to prevent those cuts from occurring. In October, a Senate vote on a bill revamping the SGR failed. The bill that the Senate plans to take up next week would increase the nation’s $13.02 trillion debt ceiling.