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SGR is Finally on its Way Out. Maybe.

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, November 7, 2013

As envisioned, the proposal would hold doctors' pay at current levels as other optional payment plans are developed. And it would combine some existing Medicare quality programs into an initiative that would offer doctors additional pay based on new metrics, according to the American College of Physicians.

The SGR would be eliminated and a new performance-based incentive program would be created, which would become effective in 2017.

Reviewing the Proposals
Healthcare experts are examining the proposal and are being asked by lawmakers to comment on them. Analysts who have reviewed the plan are excited about the possibilities, though there is concern that there are still not enough details in place how any payment structure would replace the SGR.

Still, elected officials are patting each other on the back because there was a bipartisan agreement among powerful Senate committees that endorsed the plan. Physician groups are applauding it, too.

"It needs to be repealed and it needs to be repeated now," Charles Cutler, MD, FACP, chair of regents for the American College of Physicians, said in a statement.

"Congress is demonstrating that they understand that ending the failed SGR this year is fiscally responsible," American Medical Association President Ardis D. Hoven said in a statement.

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