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SGR Repeal Effort to Resume in House

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, July 16, 2013

A house subcommittee will have another chance next week to amend a draft proposal to kill the sustainable growth rate formula. Without a "doc fix" in place, physicians who treat Medicare patients will face a 24.4% cut in reimbursement rates in 2014.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health is expected to mark-up its draft proposal to repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate formula on July 22 Capital Hill sources have told HealthLeaders Media.

The proposal calls for the SGR to be repealed and replaced with what the committee describes as "an improved fee-for-service system" with quality measures developed by providers and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Providers will have "the option of leaving the fee-for-service system and opt instead for new ways of delivering care," and receiving reimbursements, including accountable care organizations, patient centered medical homes, and bundled payments.

This is the fourth iteration of the House proposal, which was first developed in February. The committee released this latest version as a 42-page discussion draft on June 28 and asked stakeholders to review and respond by July 9. A spokesperson for the committee declined to release any information about the number of responses received or their contents.

Without the so-called "doc fix" in place, physicians who treat Medicare patients will face a 24.4% cut in their reimbursement rates in 2014.

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