News Headlines Article

SGR: Medicare Reforms Proposed as Funding Offset
HealthLeaders Media

The perennial problem in Congress over how Medicare reimburses physicians is providing an opportunity for the foes of fee-for-service medicine.

Over the past dozen years, Congress has repeatedly patched Medicare’s widely despised Sustainable Growth Rate formula for physician reimbursement. The temporary SGR fixes have featured a cast of usual suspects of Medicare budget offsets: cuts to provider payments or offsets affecting Medicare beneficiaries such as cost-sharing through deductibles.

A bipartisan and bicameral 10-year deal on a so-called “doc fix” for Medicare fell apart last winter over the politically daunting offset obstacle. Now the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the cost of implementing last winter’s $128 billion SGR repeal-and-replace deal has risen to $144 billion.