ACPE Urges Congress to Pass SGR Repeal Before March Deadline

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Bipartisan, Bicameral Proposal Supports Cost-effective Care Without Penalizing Physicians

The American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) today announced its support for proposed legislation that would change the way physicians and hospitals are reimbursed for treating Medicare patients and asked Congress to move quickly to approve it.

The SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act would eliminate the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), a move that is long overdue, said Peter Angood, MD, ACPE’s president and CEO.

“After 17 years of short-term fixes, it's time for a more permanent solution,” said Angood. “As physician leaders, we support a solution to Medicare funding challenges that fosters a higher-quality, cost-effective system of care. The piecemeal, politically-charged approach offered by the SGR has been a burden on the health care industry for far too long.”

In addition to repealing the SGR, the proposed legislation offers physicians financial incentives for participating in alternative payment models, such as bundled payments and accountable care organizations. It also consolidates existing payment incentive programs into a single value-based performance program, which would reward high-performing professionals with pay increases.

The SGR was created in 1997 as a means of controlling Medicare spending by linking it to the country’s economic growth rate. The result has been an annual last-minute patch or “doc fix” so that reimbursement to doctors from Medicare is not slashed. The current patch is scheduled to expire on March 31.

The proposed legislation, which was developed with bipartisan and bicameral support, also requires development of quality measures, encourages physician collaboration and targets Medicare fraud and abuse. The end result will be better for both patients and providers, Angood said.

“We recognize this is just the first step in what will be a long and iterative process toward long-term reform,” he said. “We at ACPE stand ready to help Congress in any way possible in their efforts to find a better solution to physician reimbursement.”

About ACPE: ACPE is the nation’s oldest and largest medical management educational association for physicians. The organization represents more than 11,000 high-level physician leaders from health care organizations across the U.S. and throughout the world.


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Carrie Johnson
American College of Physician Executives
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