CBO report shows cost to repeal SGR cut nearly in half; doctors call for action
A new report issued Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the cost to eliminate Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula is just over half the cost of repeal in 2012. The AMA and physicians nationwide are calling for repeal of the flawed formula and transitioning to new health care delivery and payment models.
Thanks to lower-than-expected growth in Medicare physician spending, the cost to repeal the SGR formula is now $138 billion—down from $244 billion just last year.
“Now is the time to end this failed policy once and for all and protect access to care for seniors now and in the future,” AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, said in a statement. “We urge Congress and the administration to take advantage of the fact that the cost of repealing the SGR is lower than it has been in many years and move promptly to replace the formula with a new system that encourages quality care while reducing costs.”
As part of the AMA’s National Advocacy Conference Feb. 11–13, hundreds of physicians from around the country are heading to the nation’s capital to call on their members of Congress to repeal the SGR formula.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., and Rep. Joe Heck, DO, R-Nev., on Wednesday introduced a bill that seeks to end the SGR formula, reward high-quality care and lower health care costs.
“This legislation is an important part of the continuing discussion on the future of Medicare and the end of the SGR,‿ Dr. Lazarus said in a statement.
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