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Negotiators Reach an Agreement on SGR Reform Policy

Thursday, February 06, 2014  
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Negotiators Reach an Agreement on SGR Reform Policy

As MDMA has reported, negotiators attempting to merge three Congressional Committee proposals to permanently repeal and replace Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula have been very close to reaching an agreement. Today, negotiators announced a deal on the policy provisions to end the flawed physician payment formula. Negotiators have not reached a deal on pay for provisions. Now that policy discussions have ended, pay for negotiations are likely to begin in a more robust fashion as the current doc fix extension deadline is set to expire on March 31.
 
The deal contains a 0.5% payment update to physicians for the next 5 years before the transition to a new payment model begins. This was the most contentious point of debate as certain physician organizations and Members of Congress who are doctors pushed for a 10 year update before the compromise deal of a 5 year update was reached. The deal is expected to cost approximately $126 billion over the next 10 years.  
 
With Congress again facing another debate over raising the debt ceiling by the end of this month and the March 31 SGR extension deadline looming with no pay for details finalized, some reports have indicated another 9 month doc fix patch has been floated as a possible rider for a final debt limit package. MDMA continues to work with Members of Congress to ensure that medical technology continues to receive appropriate and adequate coverage and reimbursement and will keep you informed of any new developments to SGR pay for and debt ceiling package details. To read a detailed summary of policy provisions for repealing and replacing the SGR formula, please click here.