SGR Bill Gains Approval by House Committee

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 31 voted 51-0 to approve a bipartisan bill that repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), provides a period of stable payment updates, and moves toward a payment system that rewards physicians for providing high quality care. After more than a decade of kicking the can down the road by enacting temporary fixes, this is a major step towards establishing a Medicare payment system that values high quality, patient-centered care.

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Over the course of the last few months, the ACC, along with numerous other physician organizations, has worked closely with the Committee to ensure that this legislation provides a sustainable pathway towards improving patient care while rewarding many of the quality initiatives undertaken by the entire cardiovascular care team. While the legislation is on the right track, the bill could be significantly improved before final passage. The College offered numerous suggestions for improvement in a letter  sent to the Committee last week and will continue to offer guidance to key Committee members and staff as the legislation moves forward.

The Energy and Commerce legislation is the first to advance, but the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee are also in the process of developing frameworks for repealing the flawed formula.

The College will continue to advocate for a Medicare physician payment system that promotes the delivery of high quality care by aligning incentives with physician performance, quality improvement and patient outcomes.

Stay tuned to the ACC Advocate and follow @Cardiology on Twitter for updates.

Keywords: Quality Improvement, Committee Membership, Medicare, Reward, United States, Patient-Centered Care

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