Pay and Practice: Budget Deal Muddles SGR Fix

As the dust settled following yesterday's last-minute budget deal to avert a federal government's default, a frightening fact emerged for the nation's doctors.

As the dust settled following yesterday's last-minute budget deal to avert a federal government's default, a frightening fact emerged for the nation's doctors.

It might be tougher to delay for yet another year the planned cuts physicians face under Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Physicians face a 24.4% cut for Medicare payments in 2014 unless Congress acts to avert it.

Hear me out.

With the federal government funded till Jan. 15 and no natural bill to attach a one-year SGR patch to, what mechanism is left for Congress to take action?

Of course, Congress could act on a stand-alone bill -- so not all hope is lost for physicians. But the reality is that there is far too much work on an SGR repeal-and-replace bill to finish before the holidays -- despite great optimism that such a bill would see action this year.

Read the full story here: http://bit.ly/1fGdmed

Source: MedPage Today