[MMA News Now, Sept. 5, 2013]
U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R- MN 3rd District) said a “permanent fix” to the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula is a priority for him this year in a Sept. 4 meeting in Eden Prairie with health care leaders that included the MMA.
“I feel good that there is synergy about getting this done this year,” Paulsen told the group, which included MMA members Will Nicholson, M.D., Michael Tedford, M.D., Brian Rank, M.D. and Dave Renner, MMA’s director of state and federal legislation.
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, Paulsen plays a key role in maintaining the momentum in SGR’s repeal. Ways and Means is expected to take the discussion up this fall. Earlier this year, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a draft outline of its bill that repeals SGR and provides five years of payment increases of 0.5 percent each year while Congress develops a new payment system that rewards quality and value.
“We made it clear to Rep. Paulsen that SGR has to be repealed this year,” Renner said. “We appreciate the five years of updates, but the 0.5 percent is less than the Medicare Economic Index and is not sufficient to allow physicians to sustain a practice.”
Renner said Paulsen appreciated the physicians taking the time to meet with him and is open to further conversation.
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