$210B Medicare deal unveiled to replace flawed SGR

Permanent "doc fix" legislation has been introduced by bipartisan committee leaders in the House and Senate to permanently replace the sustainable growth rate, according to The Hill.

The deal, which was crafted by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), is expected to have a total cost of $210 billion. About $70 billion of the total cost would be offset in the deal. Half of the $70 billion would come from cuts to providers, such as hospitals and insurers, and the other half would come from beneficiary cuts, such as by making wealthier seniors contribute more to their premium costs, according to the report.

On Thursday, Speaker Boehner acknowledged there is still work to be done regarding the offsets.

The language that has been released doesn't include details of how the legislation will be paid for, but that information will likely be included in the broader package, which is expected to be released in coming days, according to The Hill.

Minority Leader Pelosi is optimistic about the deal. "Our caucus is very enthusiastic about ending this whole discussion [and] the uncertainty about the SGR that has existed for years," she said, according to The Hill. "For a long time, our caucus has been ready to take the action that we're taking now."

Physicians will see a 21 percent cut to their Medicare payments April 1 under the SGR if congressional action isn't taken by the end of the month.

More articles on healthcare finance:

$210B Medicare deal faces opposition from all sides
House Republicans unveil 2016 budget: 10 things for healthcare leaders to know
750+ physician groups call on Congress to repeal SGR

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