Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), a physician, has proposed a bill that calls for ending the use of the sustainable growth-rate formula to set Medicare payments to physicians and replacing it with a new formula linked to the Medicare Economic Index. Called the Ensuring the Future Physician Workforce Act, the bill would maintain the current SGR formula for the rest of 2009, and then begin using a new, MEI-based formula in 2011. The MEI is a measure of inflation that includes factors such as a physician’s own time, nonphysician employees’ compensation, rents and medical equipment. The American Medical Association, which has endorsed the Democrat-sponsored Affordable Health Choices Act reform bill, hasn’t taken a position yet on the new measure. “The AMA has yet to receive actual legislative language, but applauds Rep. Burgess’ steadfast efforts to correct the flawed Medicare physician payment formula to ensure seniors’ access to care and choice of physician,” according to an e-mail from the AMA that was not attributable to anyone within the organization.
Late News: Rep. Burgess proposes bill ending SGR Medicare formula
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