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Society submits comments
on SGR repeal

As part of two coalitions, the Wisconsin Medical Society submitted comments to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and U.S. House Ways and Means Committee about proposals for Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). The Society also sent comments to Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation, lending support for repeal of the SGR and suggesting improvements to the recently released SGR Repeal and Medicare Physician Payment Reform Discussion Draft.

In this letter from the Healthcare Quality Coalition, the Society supports merging several performance improvement programs into a single program. The Society also believes that a streamlined Value-Based Performance payment program would allow physicians and other health care professionals in Wisconsin to be compared to their peers nationally and not just to those in Wisconsin.

“We firmly believe that Wisconsin will shine and will be appropriately rewarded for its high quality and cost efficiency when compared to other providers across the country,” said Society CEO Rick Abrams in comments to Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation. The Society also urged the state’s delegation to reconsider the proposed 10-year freeze on fee-for-service (FFS) payments and recommended an increase of 1 percent to 2 percent in 2014, 2015 and 2016 until the incentive payment system is consolidated and streamlined for 2017.

In this coalition letter, the Society and four other organizations specifically addressed access to Medicare FFS data fee, outlining their concerns and offering several suggestions for the committees writing the legislation.

  • First, we are concerned that the proposal will limit QEs (qualified entities) to providing or selling only “analyses” of Medicare data to their subscribers and users, and preclude providers, employers, payors and research organizations from working directly with the data.
  • Second, we are concerned that the list of permissible users and subscribers is too narrow, and may preclude organizations such as medical societies and state and local governments from accessing QE data.
  • Third, we are concerned that the proposal places limits on how subscribers use the data that could prevent them from using data for purposes such as process improvement and cost reduction to address specific problems within their organizations and/or on behalf of their members.

 
For more information, e-mail Chris Rasch, the Society’s director of state and federal relations.

Back to November 14, 2013 Medigram