SGR permanently repealed

After over a decade of kicking the can down the road, Congress has passed a permanent fix to the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate(SGR) formula passed in 2001. The SGR was enacted to provide a method by which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services(CMS) could control spending by Medicare on physician services. The flawed formula however would call for drastic cuts in Medicare patient reimbursements by 21%, which would force many physicians to abandon their Medicare patients.

The new law, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, passed the United States Senate on April 14 and was signed into law by President Obama on April 16. The law provides an annual 0.5% increase in physician payment starting July 2015. In addition, there are incentives for physicians to transition to value-based alternative payment models.