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U.S. House Votes For Temporary SGR Patch

[MMA News Now, March 27, 2014] Despite efforts by the MMA, the AMA and dozens of other state medical associations and specialty groups, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill on March 27 that calls for a temporary patch for the flawed Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula.

The MMA, AMA and the others had sent a letter to Congress urging representatives to continue moving forward with a full repeal of SGR. The MMA also sent letters directly to each of the eight Minnesota U.S. representatives asking them to vote against the patch bill.

The passed House bill calls for a 12-month SGR patch that would avoid the 24 percent payment cut scheduled for April 1. It also called for continuing the GPCI Work floor for 12 months, delaying the ICD-10 for one more year, and providing a six-month extension for hospitals to comply with the “two-midnight” rule. It now moves to the Senate where it is expected to pass quickly.

The one-year SGR patch is expected to cost $20 billion. 

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1 comments on article "U.S. House Votes For Temporary SGR Patch"

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Ramarathinam Nagarajan

3/28/2014 8:00 PM

Much to the chagrin of the AMA and MMA members, the US House engineered a temporary ''doc fix'' w/ a price tag of $20 billion. Though the permanent repeal was perceived by many as a far cry, in these economically tumultuous times of finding $180 billion for 10 years must have been a daunting task for many a politician. US Senate's steadfast stand against the 5 year postponement of the tax penalties for those who do not want to enroll in ACA, was another obvious reason. Surmounting these 2 hurdles was almost a Sisyphean task by the politicians, and as a consequence, a temporary fix, like previous years offered a path of least resistance to both the houses. This was to be expected, but in future this sloppy SGR payment formula needs a long and hard look in the years to come.

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