As Congress resumes session after its two-week spring recess, members of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will explore the sustainable growth-rate system in a hearing on May 5.
Panel to examine SGR system
In March, the leaders of the health subcommittee sent a letter to more than 50 medical associations asking for their ideas on a long-term solution to the physician payment system in Medicare, which they said is currently a “major threat to the integrity of the program and the ability of America's seniors to access quality healthcare.”
The letter also said the full committee is determined to find a permanent solution to the physician payment formula this year. “The problems preventing reform of the payment system are twofold: a budgetary hole of $300 billion, and a lack of consensus among experts and stakeholders about what kind of payment system should replace the Medicare physician fee schedule,” the legislators wrote in the letter. “It is the latter question on which we invite your comment.”
Because the deadline for comments was the end of April, a spokeswoman for the committee said in an e-mail last week that it was too early to discuss the responses to the subcommittee's letter.
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