Patch for SGR, delay of ICD-10 signed
President Obama has signed a one-year patch for the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula to postpone a 24% cut in Medicare payments to physicians that had been scheduled to take effect April 1, 2014, according to the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA). Contained within the patch is a provision delaying the implementation of ICD-10 for one year, until Oct. 1, 2015, the ASCA said.
Most concerning for specialty physicians and surgeons is a provision used to pay for the $20 billion patch that implements severe payment cuts for services that are deemed to be "misvalued"’ within the Medicare physician payment system, the ASCA said. To read more, go to http://bit.ly/1flLjjl.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, still believes repeal can be achieved before the end of this Congress, although this short-term patch is a set-back to full repeal. "I believe that we are going to get permanent repeal and replace before the end of this Congress," said Wyden. He cited Rep. Dave Camp’s (R-MI) interest in the issue as well. Camp is outgoing chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Without pressure from the individuals impacted by this "flawed" formula, Congress might continue to pass short-term reprieves that don’t address the larger problems of the system, the ASCA said.