House committee moves forward with plan to overhaul SGR

Article from the AMA Morning Rounds, 5/29/2013

A handful of beltway publications carry stories Wednesday on a new bill, out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which would permanently overhaul the oft-derided Medicare physician payment formula, known as the Sustainable Growth Rate or SGR.

As the Washington Times (5/29, Howell, 76K) reports, House Republicans on Tuesday released a draft bill which would “repeal the ill-defined way physicians are paid under Medicare in a bid to finally end the annual Capitol Hill scramble to find extra cash to pay the doctors.” The House Energy and Commerce Committee “said it would scrap the sustainable growth rate formula, which was supposed to limit payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients but which lawmakers have deemed too draconian and have delayed each year for more than a decade.”

The Hill (5/29, Baker, 21K) “Healthwatch” blog notes that the proposal “does not address the most controversial aspect of a permanent ‘doc fix’ — how to pay for it.”

CQ (5/29, Ethridge, Subscription Publication) reports that “lawmakers are asking provider groups and other stakeholders for feedback, and the measure contains several questions and blank spaces.” The Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee plans to hold a hearing on the draft legislation June 5.

Modern Healthcare (5/29, Zigmond, Subscription Publication, 71K) also covers the story.