The SGR Lives, For Now
Similarly, S.1776 was good as far as interventions go, but Congress is still missing the underlying "poor health" of the current physician reimbursement system. It's the fee-for-service payment model, which rewards quantity over quality, that is driving a good chunk of healthcare costs, and that system remains intact.
To their credit, reform advocates in Washington have talked about the importance of changing the fundamentals of physician reimbursement to better reward quality. They've also talked about the importance of rewarding patient behavior changes to get at core health problems like obesity. But they haven't included major solutions to either in the bills.
Reform legislation in the House can still prevent the 21% cut and kill the SGR formula for good, but it also stops short of offering a compelling replacement.
"We'll take this up again when we finish healthcare, and we'll have a multiple-year fix for this," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said yesterday after S. 1776 failed. "Right now, we'll only have a one-year fix."
Meanwhile, Steve is lying on the operating table, waiting for January 1.
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.
- mHealth Tackles Readmissions
- 'Kafkaesque' Value System Unfairly Penalizes Doctor Pay
- CNO Leads $1M Charge for New Scrubs, Uniforms
- Targeting Self-Insured Populations
- MA an Insurance Proving Ground for Providers
- Proton Beam Therapy Poised for Growth in US
- Sharp HealthCare Leaves Pioneer ACO Program
- Some Cancer Hospitals' Quality Data Will Soon Be Public
- Half of All Primary Care, Internal Medicine Jobs Unfilled in 2013
- Docs Fret as HHS Addresses Malpractice Reporting 'Loopholes'