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Physicians Ask Congress for SGR Alternatives

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 30, 2012

"Physicians should have opportunities to help design an array of innovations and choose those that best fit their specialty, practice, patient population, capabilities, market, partners, and resources."

Madara told the committee that a "full menu of innovations" must look beyond shared savings programs and accountable care organizations, and toward initiatives that include performance-based and bundled payments, global- and condition-specific payments, warranties for care, and medical homes.

In addition to flexible payment models, Madara said physicians also need flexible implementation dates "available on an ongoing basis so physicians can plan for the needed changes and join as they become ready."

MGMA President/CEO Susan Turney, MD, in her letter "strongly" urged Congress to repeal SGR as a critical first step in payment reform, and replace it with "stable payments for a period of several years to allow testing of different payment and delivery models, and then allow for a transition to new models."

Turney offered alternative payment models that were largely identical to those suggested by Mardara. The MGMA leader praised the committee for acknowledging that a new payment model cannot be a "'one size fits all' method given the diversity of medical practices. Physicians should have the flexibility to adopt different approaches based on their composition, capabilities and community needs."

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2 comments on "Physicians Ask Congress for SGR Alternatives"


DonS (6/4/2012 at 4:35 PM)
The SGR must be addressed this year. Beginning in 2013 and for 2014, PPACA mandates that States Medicaid rates for primary care E&M be at least Medicare rates. The States will have trouble putting this in place if the SGR rolls on with Congressional patches and the 'doc-fix' isnt decided on until the last minute - or like in some years, not until after January 1!

Joshua (5/30/2012 at 11:39 AM)
It was great to read your article, and even better to hear both the MGMA and AMA make the case for alternatives rather than simply avoiding the SGR. The government needs to evoke incentives for quality outcomes and the providers (both hospitals and physicians) can aptly bring these quality outcomes when working together. Global payment, ACOs, and results-based payment for treatments have historically been rejected by physician advocates. However, coming to a joint agreement and leaving behind one-size-fits-all will be beneficial to both patients and providers.