The cost of repealing Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula is now about $8 billion more than the agency estimated a few months ago, according to an estimate released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). CBO estimated that the 10-year cost of repealing the SGR would be about $124 billion, compared with $116.5 billion estimated in December 2013. Although the cost has increased, it remains historically low. In 2012, CBO estimated that replacing the SGR would cost about $271 billion over 10 years. The new report did not indicate reasons for the increase in cost.
Last month, Congress approved legislation (HR 4302) that delayed for 12 months a 24 percent cut to Medicare physician reimbursements rates under the SGR after failed attempts in the House and Senate to pass a permanent SGR replacement. Physician organizations, including the AMA, expressed disappointment with the temporary fix and have urged Congress to continue working toward a permanent replacement