Med­i­cal lobby presses Congress on per­ma­nent Medi­care fix

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

The med­i­cal lobby and other ma­jor provider groups made a pub­lic plea for the Se­nate to ap­prove leg­is­la­tion that would per­ma­nently re­peal Medi­care’s trou­bled physi­cian pay­ment for­mula. In let­ters to Congress, tele­vi­sion ads and in a we­b­cast that pro­ceeded to link news events in sev­eral states, the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion, AARP and Mil­i­tary Of­fi­cers As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica called on the Se­nate to take sim­i­lar action to the House and pass leg­is­la­tion that repeals the cur­rent for­mula and re­places it with one that bet­ter re­flects in­creas­ing med­i­cal prac­tice costs. Medi­care’s sus­tain­able growth rate, or SGR, for­mula is based on the econ­omy’s health and has threat­ened cuts to physi­cian pay­ments ev­ery year since 2003. Congress has stepped in each time to pre­vent those cuts from oc­cur­ring. Physi­cians face a 21.2% cut at the end of Fe­bru­ary un­less Congress in­ter­venes again. The Se­nate is ex­pected to vote on a debt-ceil­ing bill that could pos­si­bly con­tain a per­ma­nent fix to the SGR.

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