Medicare Physician Payment Reform Bills Released by Congressional Committees

The Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee jointly released their draft legislation to reform physician payment under Medicare on October 30.

The Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee jointly released their draft legislation to reform physician payment under Medicare on October 30. The Committees provided an eight page summary of the proposed bill and have asked ASH and other specialty societies to provide comments by November 12.

Briefly, the proposed legislation does the following:

  • Repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula preventing a 24 percent cut in physician payment in 2014 and annual cuts thereafter.
  • Freezes the conversion factor (monetary index used to determine physician payment under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule) for 10 years.
  • Starting in 2017, physician payments would be adjusted based on the physician's performance in a Value-Based Performance Payment Program (VBP).

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Source: ASH