ACC Pushes for Permanent SGR Repeal
Recently, the ACC issued a bipartisan legislative proposal that would permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment formula and establish the framework for a new Medicare payment system that would reward high quality, evidence-based care, was unveiled last week by the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees, in conjunction with the Senate Finance Committee. In a letter to the committee chairs, the ACC expressed support for this legislation, which is largely consistent with the College's longstanding health care policy goals. This is the kind of legislation the medical community has been working to bring forward for nearly a decade. Check out this American Medical Association (AMA) chart to see how this bill compares to the current law.
However, passage of the legislation is not a done deal, and two major factors threaten to derail this important agreement. The cost of permanent SGR repeal, roughly $128 billion, must be offset by corresponding spending cuts. ACC's support for this effort rests on the caveat that paying for this legislation must not negatively impact access to lifesaving cardiology services. As we've seen many times before, Congress could also kick the can down the road and enact another short-term patch. After reaching such a landmark SGR repeal agreement, this would be a huge disappointment.
It is imperative that we let Congress know that a temporary solution is unacceptable, that the progress represented by this bipartisan agreement must be brought to completion, and must be paid for with offsets that do not harm cardiovascular patients or the clinicians who care for them. Here's how your ACC is taking action:
- A Grassroots Action Alert has been activated. Please contact your members of Congress by clicking here.
- An all-member telebriefing on the status of SGR repeal will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. ET. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "SGR Call" and dial (866) 814-8482 to tune into the briefing.
- The College and other medical specialty societies signed on to a letter circulated by the AMA.
- ACC leaders are on Capitol Hill today meeting directly with lawmakers on securing a viable SGR repeal plan. Visit the ACC in Touch Blog for details.
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