There is growing optimism that Congress will replace Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula with a new provider reimbursement system by the end of this year. One reason for the optimism is that the effort to replace SGR has support from lawmakers of both parties. The strong support for repealing SGR was seen in July, when the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved a bill that would replace SGR with a new system in which Medicare reimbursements would be based on how well doctors and other healthcare providers meet new quality guidelines that will be developed over the next several years. In addition, the legislation calls for doctors to receive annual reimbursement rate increases of 0.5 percent beginning next year and lasting until the new system is fully implemented in 2019. The bill also would give doctors the choice of participating in demonstration programs that include alternative payment models aimed at coordinating care and improving the quality of care given to patients. But some obstacles to a repeal of SGR remain, including the fact that the House Energy and Commerce Committee has not yet said how it would pay for the new reimbursement system. There could also be a competing SGR repeal bill written by members of the Senate Finance Committee.
From the article of the same title
BNA Snapshot (09/10/2013) Lindeman, Ralph
via This Week @ ACFAS.