HealthDay News — The American Medical Association has highlighted the implications of achieving progress toward repealing the Medicare sustained growth rate (SGR) formula in a recently published report.

Noting that important milestones were reached last week in the effort to repeal the Medicare SGR formula, Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, president of the AMA, discusses five implications of the SGR repeal on physicians and patients.

  1. Finalizing legislation is a “process” and  much work remains, especially in reconciling the differences between the Congress and Senate bills.
  2. The proposed SGR legislation offers several important changes for U.S. health care and improvements over current law, which vary in the congressional and House Ways and Means Committee versions of the bill.
  3. The AMA will continue to push for payment updates which support practice investments and advance health system innovation while improving care for patients. The current cycle of short-term patches generates instability and is ultimately unsustainable.
  4. The House has already passed a three-month 0.5% payment update in place of the 24% cut scheduled under the SGR formula. The Senate will vote on this update at a later date.
  5. Making sure your voice is heard is vital to repealing the SGR.

“Lawmakers need to hear from you,” Hoven wrote. “Add your voice to those telling Congress that Medicare cannot continue without eliminating the SGR formula.”

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Those who are interested can email Congress today via the AMA’s Fix Medicare Now campaign website. 


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