Don't Count on SGR Reform This Year
In April, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee sent letters to 70 physician and healthcare organizations seeking their input to find a "long term solution" to—or at least viable options for—the existing Sustainable Growth Rate formula that doctors desperately want to change.
"Republicans and Democrats alike agree that continuing to do temporary, short-term patches is a less than ideal way to deal with the physician payment issue," a House Ways and Means spokeswoman told HealthLeaders Media. She declined to be identified here.
"Steps must be taken toward a permanent legislative solution, and that requires gathering the input of the stakeholders most affected on the front lines—our physicians and the patients they treat," the official added. The letter "is an important step toward securing the input of these stakeholders and will be instructive in how the process moves forward."
The House letter invited physicians groups to offer their guidance and suggestions concerning various financial structures for improved care. In response, physician groups asked Congress to scrap the SGR and replace it with flexible payment options that reward quality and efficiency.