Congress Looks at SGR Repeal, Must Also Tackle Anesthesiologists' 33% Problem Prior

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Congress' committees of jurisdiction are currently considering massive changes to the physician payment system, including repealing the sustainable growth rate and creating a stable period of payments, according to Tony Mira, president and CEO of Anesthesia Business Consultants.

Several medical societies, including the American Medical Association and American College of Surgeons, have expressed support for the overhaul. Additionally, the American Society of Anesthesiologists publicly stated the "33 percent Medicare payment problem" for its specialty must be tackled before instituting an SGR replacement model. The 33 percent problem refers to the gap between what anesthesiologists receive for Medicare patients and what physicians of other specialties receive.  

A draft of the legislation was released last week, and the hearing on SGR reform will take place June 5. If it is not reformed, the SGR is projected to reduce physician payments by 24.4 percent in 2014.

Mr. Mira encourages physicians and patients to participate in grassroots lobbying efforts and show support for repealing the SGR and reforming physician payments.

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