750+ physician groups call on Congress to repeal SGR

The American Medical Association and more than 750 other physician groups have sent a letter to House and Senate leadership, urging policymakers to repeal the flawed sustainable growth rate formula and pass the bipartisan framework developed in 2014.

"We made significant progress in the previous Congress to find common ground for a Medicare fix that would establish a clear pathway for developing and implementing new healthcare delivery and payment models that improve quality, coordinate care and reduce costs," Robert M. Wah, MD, president of the AMA, wrote. "It would be a shame to once again let that solution, which took months to develop, go to waste."

House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are working together to rollout a permanent SGR fix, which will likely include replacing the SGR formula, as proposed in the bipartisan legislation last year. Replacing the SGR formula would cost $174.5 billion from fiscal 2015 to fiscal 2025, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

If an agreement is not reached by the end of the month, lawmakers will need to pass another short-term patch to the tune of approximately $20 billion to avoid a cut of more than 20 percent to providers' Medicare payments.

More articles on healthcare finance:

Politics surrounding the permanent 'doc fix' debate: 10 key points
MedPAC issues March report to Congress: 10 key Medicare issues
House leaders in talks over $200B Medicare deal

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