San Francisco Marin Medical Society Blog

Medicare SGR Reform Bill Passes Key House Committee

Legislation to repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and revamp the physician payment system so it rewards high-quality care has garnered unanimous approval from a key House committee and constructive criticism from organized medicine groups.

As reported previously on the SFMS blog, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 51-0 on July 31 to approve its version of payment overhaul legislation.

Click here to view the AMA’s revised summary of the SGR repeal/replace bill (HR 2810, the “Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act”).

HR 2810 repeals the SGR and provides for a 5-year period of stability while a new quality reporting program is developed. The bill provides for updates of 0.5% and the ability to earn additional updates under the new reporting requirement beginning in 2019. Furthermore, the bill creates a pathway for the implementation of new and innovative delivery and payment models.

HR 2810 reflects progress from previous versions of the legislation, but outstanding concerns remain that must be addressed. These include ensuring the updates are adequate to keep pace with inflation, that new reporting systems are fair and not overly burdensome, and that funds are not drained from the physician pool through the elimination of budget neutrality requirements. 

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