Doctors pleased with congress' medicare payment agreement

Doctors pleased with congress' medicare payment agreement
Physician groups are expressing optimism over the Congressional agreement to revamp the Medicare physician payment system, according to an article published Feb. 26 in Medical Economics.

(HealthDay)—Physician groups are expressing optimism over the Congressional agreement to revamp the Medicare physician payment system, according to an article published Feb. 26 in Medical Economics.

The article notes that, as part of the agreement, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)—the formula used to set Medicare reimbursements for health care providers—will be repealed. The legislation must still be passed by both houses of Congress. The SGR had been intended to link Medicare reimbursement to inflation rates, but in reality, did not work and required annual Congressional "patches" to guarantee sustainable level of reimbursements.

According to the article, the repeal of the SGR also marks the transition away from a volume-based reimbursement system and towards one based on value and quality outcomes. Other facets of the agreement include: consolidating three existing quality programs into one that rewards providers for meeting performance thresholds; implementing a process for improving payment accuracy; providing incentives for improved chronic care coordination; and introducing physician-developed clinical care guidelines. As new payment models are enacted over the next five years, the announced agreement will guarantee Medicare providers annual 0.5 percent reimbursement increases.

"Congress will now have to coalesce around a plan to pay for this legislation. The over $125 billion cost remains the most significant hurdle to its passage," said Anders M. Gilberg, senior vice president for government affairs for the Medical Group Management Association, according to the Medical Economics article.

More information: More Information

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

AMA supports overhaul of Medicare doctors' pay

Feb 10, 2014

The American Medical Association says it strongly supports legislation that would change the way Medicare pays doctors, to emphasize quality care and not just sheer volume of services.

Alternative to Medicare sustained growth rate proposed

Dec 26, 2013

(HealthDay)—A proposed alternative to the Medicare sustained growth rate (SGR) formula for physicians encourages Medicare to adopt advanced primary care practice (APCP) as a new provider category, according ...

Recommended for you

Energy drinks cause insomnia and nervousness in athletes

1 hour ago

A study analysing the positive and negative effects of energy drinks on athletes has seen that, although in principle their sports performance was seen to improve by between 3% and 7%, there was also an increase ...

Young Aussie women now fatter but fitter

3 hours ago

Young Australian women are fatter, fitter and more frazzled today than they were nearly 20 years ago, according to Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health researchers.

Healthy relationships help foster healthy eating habits

3 hours ago

There are few subjects more personal than an individual's weight. And for those people who are considered overweight, whether this is a scientifically accurate measurement or a personal assessment, the battle ...

User comments