MedPAC Report Pushes SGR Repeal, Offsets

By: FRANCES CORREA, Cardiology News Digital Network: 03/16/12.

WASHINGTON – By implementing a series of payment reforms now – and adopting MedPAC’s recommendations on replacing the SGR – Congress can fix the Medicare physician pay problem and come closer to paying for it, too.

That’s the bottom line of the March 2012 Report to Congress from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), released March 15.

While the recommended cuts may cause some physicians to wince, according to Mark Miller, the blow would be much harder if Congress allows the nearly 30% physician pay cut called for by the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula to go through, Mr. Miller, MedPAC executive director, said at the press conference.

The MedPAC report – on of two Congress requires the group to produce each year – repeats the SGR replacement recommendationsthe commission made last October. Key among those recommendations was freezing most Medicare payments to primary care physicians for 10 years and cutting specialists’ payments by 17% over 3 years, followed by a freeze for 7 years more. Read More