In a rare display of bipartisanship, key committees of both houses of Congress are backing legislation that would permanently erase the sustainable growth-rate formula
, a poorly thought out payment reform measure that for more than a decade dictated sharp cuts in Medicare physician
pay. Now all they have to do is figure out how to pay for it.
The usual fix is for Congress to temporarily freeze physician pay for a few months or years. So far, that's cost $150 billion and left physicians facing a nearly 24% pay cut when the latest fix expires, which is March 31.
To pay for its fixes, Congress usually included an across-the-board cut in hospitals' future Medicare
reimbursement rates. That approach did nothing to improve quality and eventually leads to seniors being denied needed care.
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Source: Modern Healthcare