Despite progress this year, there's no agreement on how to pay for repealing the SGR formula, which the Congressional Budget Office estimated would cost about $139 billion over the next decade. Absent at least a temporary fix, physicians can expect to see a 20.1% cut in Medicare payments starting Jan. 1. There are hopes that the House and Senate could agree next year on a financing mechanism for the repeal, though Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) said he was not optimistic about that.
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) is vice chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which passed an SGR repeal bill this past summer. He said he would like to stay in Washington beyond the upcoming holiday recess until lawmakers can reach a deal on the SGR formula, rather than addressing it retroactively in the new year.
“The longer-term stability, the better,” Burgess said in an interview. “You can't go past Jan. 1 without doing something.”
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