Practice Economics

House budget includes SGR patch; permanent fix sails through committees


The AMA "strongly commends members of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee for the tremendous progress they have made toward repealing Medicare’s failed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and creating a stronger Medicare program," Dr. Hoven said in a statement. "The AMA will continue to work collaboratively with Congress so that a bipartisan agreement can be signed into law early next year to repeal the failed SGR payment formula."

The American College of Physicians said that it, too, would work to ensure that a bill moves through Congress and gets to the White House for approval soon.

"The bills reported today ... will help ensure that Medicare patients continue to have access to their physicians," said Dr. Charles Cutler, chairman of the ACP Board of Regents. "Their efforts will work to stabilize payments, provide multiple pathways for physicians to qualify for positive updates and to participate in alternative payment models, create positive incentives for patient-centered medical homes, provide assistance to small practices, and needed funding for development of quality measures."

The American College of Cardiology said in a statement that the proposals accomplished two of its highest priorities: eliminating the SGR and including provisions that will emphasize quality of care, including "provisions that emphasize the importance of clinical data registries, quality measure development, and appropriate use criteria to promote evidence-based care."

"We caution that our final support rests upon the caveat that paying for this legislation must not cause harm to patients and the physicians who care for them," Dr. John Gordon Harold, ACC president, said in the statement.

Legislators from the Finance Committee and the Ways and Means Committee celebrated their votes in a joint statement. In the statement, Sen. Hatch also issued a word of caution.

"Now that this legislation moves out of Committee and onto the floor, we need to continue to work together to ensure that this smart policy becomes law and ensure that it doesn’t add one dime to our nation’s debt."


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