Are Doctors Better Off Without the SGR?
But physicians are among those lobbying groups competing for lawmakers' attention. If physician groups hadn't lobbied Congress to block scheduled payment cuts the last few years, physician reimbursement could actually be much lower.
That may no longer be an issue if reimbursement is detached from the SGR formula, but some specialty physician groups are worried about being cut off from the decision-making process. The Alliance of Specialty Medicine has come out against a similar proposal to give MedPAC more authority, arguing that unelected appointees can't be held accountable for their decisions.
The organization claims that their opposition has nothing to do with divisions between specialists and primary care, but that denial may reveal their real concern.
MedPAC has concluded that primary care services are undervalued and some specialist services are overvalued, and by lobbying Congress, specialists have helped defer major readjustments for a while. An independent council may be more inclined to redistribute reimbursement from specialists to primary care than elected representatives.
So the answer to the earlier question, about whether the new method will be better than the SGR, may depend on what type of medicine you practice.
Note: You can sign up to receive HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders, a free weekly e-newsletter that features the top physician business headlines of the week from leading news sources.
Elyas Bakhtiari is a freelance editor for HealthLeaders Media.
- Interventional Radiology No Longer a Sub-Specialty
- NFP Hospitals' Revenue Growth at 'All-Time Low'
- Acute Kidney Injury Gets New Focus
- Evidence-Based Practice and Nursing Research: Avoiding Confusion
- Transforming Cancer Care
- Half of All Primary Care, Internal Medicine Jobs Unfilled in 2013
- mHealth Tackles Readmissions
- CNO Leads $1M Charge for New Scrubs, Uniforms
- Proton Beam Therapy Poised for Growth in US
- Sharp HealthCare Leaves Pioneer ACO Program