from the inbox:
U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, along with 113 Members of Congress, sent a bipartisan letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction today, urging the Committee to repeal the Medicare physician payment system known as the “sustainable growth rate” or SGR.
“For over a decade, the existing Medicare physician payment system has created uncertainty and instability, not only in the health care system, but in the larger economy,” Schwartz said. “As we begin to transform our health care system to improve quality and reduce costs, we must first stabilize reimbursements. The Joint Select Committee has a historic opportunity to take concrete action to move beyond a policy that has failed taxpayers, Medicare beneficiaries, and those on the front line of patient care. The overwhelming bipartisan support for this letter speaks to the urgency and importance of tackling this issue now. True deficit reduction cannot be achieved without first addressing the significant debt in our nation’s largest health program.”
“To ensure patient access to physician care, we must permanently fix the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula (SGR),” said Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), one of 21 Republicans to sign on to the letter. “Physicians are currently threatened with a 29.5 percent cut in their payments unless Congress can end these budgetary games. A cut of this magnitude would leave many, if not most, Medicare patients without access to physicians. Fixing the SGR will help bring stability to our medical system.”