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the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)—the formula used to set Medicare reimbursements for health care providers—will be repealed.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

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

8 hours ago

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

10 hours ago

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

10 hours ago

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments