Thursday, December 12, 2013, promises to be a busy day for physician groups and other stakeholders interested in Congressional action to repeal and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) system. (Background on the SGR is available here).
The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the Chairman’s mark (available here) and the House Ways and Means Committee announced it will hold a markup of its version of the legislation (legislative language is available here and a section-by-section summary is available here). Both Committees’ actions will take place at 10 am tomorrow. Like the Energy and Commerce Committee proposal, neither the Senate Finance Committee nor the House Ways and Means Committee proposal includes any offsets.
Meanwhile, the House is considering legislation that would postpone the imposition of the SGR cuts for three months and would give physicians a 0.5% update in their Medicare reimbursement. (A copy of the legislation is available here). The three-month patch also provides for a number of Medicare extenders and would delay Medicare’s controversial new “two-midnight” policy for inpatient hospital stays.
Congress is slated to adjourn by the end of the week. While a permanent fix may not be possible in 2013, enactment of a permanent solution remains likely for 2014, particularly as CBO continues to reduce the 10 year score of the legislation (background available here).