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AMA IDs Five Issues Relating to Progress in SGR Repeal

AMA IDs Five Issues Relating to Progress in SGR Repeal

Work remains for finalizing legislation; reconciling differences between Congress and Senate bills

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The implications of progress toward repeal of the Medicare sustained growth rate (SGR) formula are discussed in a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

Noting that important milestones were reached last week in the effort to repeal the Medicare SGR formula, Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D., president of the AMA, discusses the implications of the SGR repeal on physicians and patients.

Hoven emphasizes that the legislative process is a "process" and that much work remains in finalizing legislation, especially in reconciling the differences between the Congress and Senate bills. The proposed legislation offers several important changes for U.S. health care and improvements over current law, which vary in the congressional and House Ways and Means Committee versions of the bill. The AMA will continue to push for payment updates which support practice investments and advance health system innovation while improving care for patients. The current cycle of short-term patches generates instability and is ultimately unsustainable. The House has already passed a three-month 0.5 percent payment update in place of the 24 percent cut scheduled under the SGR formula. The Senate will vote on this update at a later date.

"Lawmakers need to hear from you," Hoven concludes. "Add your voice to those telling Congress that Medicare cannot continue without eliminating the SGR formula."

More Information (http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire.page?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&UID=e38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0&plckPostId=Blog%3ae38cf47a-fc5f-473b-9234-c9e714c1c8f0Post%3a6e5ad51b-807b-484a-a2de-39152eed6a35&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest#.Ur19JMXnbrc )