Be­yond SGR re­form

Docs urge broad ap­proach to pay­ment changes

Modern Healthcare - - The Week In Healthcare - Jessica Zig­mond

Congress should ap­ply a mul­ti­fac­eted ap­proach to im­prove the Medi­care physi­cian pay­ment sys­tem that goes well be­yond re­peal­ing the con­tentious sus­tain­able growth-rate for­mula, med­i­cal groups and physi­cian lead­ers tes­ti­fied last week.

At a House En­ergy and Com­merce Health Sub­com­mit­tee hear­ing on May 5, a panel of wit­nesses pre­sented leg­is­la­tors with their ideas on how to change the way Medi­care pays physi­cians. Cur­rently, the sys­tem re­lies on the sus­tain­able growth-rate for­mula, which was en­acted in 1997 to de­ter­mine physi­cian pay­ment up­dates in Medi­care Part B.

Just main­tain­ing the cur­rent sys­tem with­out any up­dates un­til 2020 would cost $278 bil­lion, said Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), chair­man of the health sub­com­mit­tee.

Rep. Fred Up­ton (R-Mich.), chair­man of the full com­mit­tee, said that while Congress can’t af­ford the cur­rent rate of spend­ing in physi­cian ser­vices, it rec­og­nizes the pend­ing 29.4% fee cut to physi­cians—sched­uled for Jan. 1, 2012, to bring rates in line with the SGR for­mula—will force doc­tors out of the

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.