Senate Passes Bill to Repeal SGR


This week saw the end of the sustainable growth rate (SGR), with the US Senate passing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (H.R.2) in a 92-8 vote and President Obama signing it into law. The bill, which the House of Representatives passed in March, permanently repeals SGR and prevents a 21 percent pay cut this year.

In an April 14, 2015 statement, James L. Madara, MD, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President, American Medical Association, said: "Physicians across the country join the American Medical Association (AMA) in celebrating the U.S. Senate's vote tonight to pass Medicare delivery and payment reforms that will help our nation's seniors and improve the health of the nation.

Passage of this historic legislation finally brings an end to an era of uncertainty for Medicare beneficiaries and their physicians—facilitating the implementation of innovative care models that will improve care quality and lower costs. Patients will be able to get the care they need and deserve.”

In the statement, Dr. Madara went on to applaud the Senate for continuing to ensure access to care through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and thanked members of the House and Senate for working to pass this bill.

In an American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Breaking News Announcement, the AADA called the vote a “momentous victory for dermatologists and the entire house of medicine.” The news alert also said, “The AADA applauds the bipartisan, bicameral work of lawmakers who recognized that the SGR was beyond repair. The perennial fixes and patches posed great harm to patient access to care and detracted from meaningful payment reform efforts.

The AADA’s advocacy efforts helped secure provision within the bill that preserves 10 and 90-day global codes – a significant accomplishment that prevents both reimbursement cuts and extra co-pays for patients. The President is expected to sign the bill into law very soon.”


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