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.
- The Secret to Physician Engagement? It's Not Better Pay
- Two-Midnight Rule Must be Fixed or Replaced, Say Providers
- Yale New Haven Health Partners with Tenet Healthcare in CT
- Don't Underestimate Emotional Intelligence
- Care Coordination Tough to Define, Measure
- 4 Reasons PCMH Principles Aren't Going Away
- Size Matters in Antibiotic Overuse
- Evidence-Based Practice and Nursing Research: Avoiding Confusion
- SCOTUS Review of NC Board Case 'A Very Big Deal' to Providers
- CDC Warns of Antibiotic Overuse in Hospitals