The U.S. House and Senate put forward new amendments regarding the sustainable growth rate “SGR” legislation. The most recent short-term “doc fix” is set to expire March 31, after which physicians would face a 24 percent cut to their Medicare reimbursement rates.
David Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced an amendment to offset the costs of House Resolution 4015 (H.R. 4015), the “SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014.” The amendment is a five-year delay to the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty for individuals who do not purchase health insurance. It is expected that the bill will be considered by the House this week.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued a revised version of Senate Bill 2110 (S. 2110), “Medicare SGR Repeal and Beneficiary Access Improvement Act.” The language includes many of the bills earlier provisions including: encouraging care coordination initiatives for patients with chronic illnesses; increasing public access to provider payment data; and replacing disvalued codes to improve payment accuracy. The bill will likely be considered by the Senate during the last week of March, after Congress returns from a scheduled recess the week of March 17.
However, neither bill has bipartisan support in its current form, which raises the possibility of an impasse or a short-term patch to avoid the 24 percent payment