Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) is preparing legislation that would repeal the sustainable growth rate used to calculate annual changes in Medicare physician reimbursement and establish a pay-for-performance component, Modern Healthcare has learned. Johnson's office declined to comment. The legislation follows a letter by Johnson and Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) to the CMS that said the time was "ripe to tie physician payments to quality performance." Thomas is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and Johnson chairs its health subcommittee. Under the legislation being drafted, physician organizations would help develop process and outcomes measures to be approved by HHS for use in the pay-for-performance program. The sustainable growth rate formula, long criticized as flawed, would require an average annual cut in physician reimbursement of 5% in each of the next seven years. -- by Tony Fong
Bill in works to replace Medicare doc-pay formula
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