The Senate Finance and House Ways and Means are considering separate legislative proposals that would permanently repeal the sustainable growth rate formula, even though either measure is unlikely to be enacted by the end of the year.
The Finance Committee will consider a proposal that would repeal the SGR and includes various permanent or long-term extensions of certain Medicare and Medicaid programs. The House Ways and Means Committee completed its mark-up of legislation (H.R. 2810) to repeal Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula by a vote of 39-0.
However, since a permanent fix is doubtful before Congress adjourns for the holidays, the House floor will also consider a budget agreement that includes a three-month Medicare physician payment “bridge” that would replace the 24 percent cut scheduled for January 1 with a 0.5 percent payment update. The three-month “doc fix” will give Congress more time to settle for a long-term fix and prevent physician payment cuts.