House Committee Approves Medicare Physician Pay Reform Bill

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has unanimously approved a bill that would repeal and replace Medicare's sustainable growth rate.

Every year since 2003, Congress has temporarily bypassed the SGR — the formula Medicare uses to determine physician reimbursement rates — so physicians would not have to endure double-digit cuts to their Medicare pay.

The bill would get rid of the SGR as of next year, and physicians would receive a 0.5 percent increase in Medicare reimbursements every year until 2018, after which they would receive payments based on quality reporting and outcomes. Starting in 2019, physicians could gain or lose 1 percent of their Medicare payments, depending on their quality scores.

Repealing the SGR would cost an estimated $138 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

More Articles on the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate:
Repeal of Medicare's SGR Makes Headway in House Committee
Lawmakers Make Progress Repealing, Replacing Medicare's SGR Formula
House Committees Flesh Out SGR Repeal Bill 

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