Physicians Weigh In on SGR Debate

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , July 13, 2012

Physicians added their voices on Wednesday to the intractable task of finding an informed solution to the sustainable growth rate. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, hosted five physician group representatives, part of a series of roundtables about Medicare payments. Previous roundtables featured former administrators of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and private payers.

"Every year, the flawed sustainable growth rate, or SGR, leads physicians to fear dramatic reductions in their Medicare payments," Baucus stated in his opening remarks. "Next year physicians will face a 27% cut if we don't act. While Congress has intervened to prevent these cuts each year, it is time we develop a permanent solution.

"We need to repeal SGR and end the annual ‘doc fix' ritual. The year-in and year-out uncertainty is not fair to physicians or the Medicare beneficiaries who need access to their doctors."

The discussion covered a wide range of topics, including models of care, specialty reimbursements, and quality and efficiency.

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