MedPAC to Congress: Repeal SGR

Medpagetoday: By David Pittman

WASHINGTON — The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) said once again that it supports repealing the sustainable growth rate formula that establishes physician pay under Medicare.

Congress should also rebalance payment across specialties so that primary care providers are on equal footing with specialists, the commissioners said in their meeting Thursday.

The body, which advises Congress on issues affecting Medicare, made the same proposal last year in an October letter to lawmakers.

The SGR formula links physician reimbursement rates to increases in the gross domestic product (GDP). Because spending on physician services has outpaced increases in the GDP, the formula has called for cuts in reimbursement each year over most of the past decade — and Congress has always voted to push those cuts down the road. Read More