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Society urges Congress to pass sustainable growth rate bill

A bill to repeal and replace the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula was reintroduced in Congress today. The latest SGR patch is set to expire March 31, which threatens patients’ access to care and triggers a 21 percent cut to physician reimbursement for Medicare.

Provisions in the bill, which has bicameral, bipartisan support, include:

  • Repeal of the SGR methodology and stabilized Medicare physician payments moving forward.
  • A new 5 percent incentive for participating in alternative payment models like accountable care organizations or medical homes.
  • A new value-based incentive payment system—the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System—that would streamline and harmonize all of the current value incentives such as Meaningful Use (MU), Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Value Modifier (VM).

The Society, with hundreds of other state and national physician organizations, signed on to this letter to House Speaker John Boehner, explaining why repeal of the SGR is essential to organized medicine. Individual physicians are urged to contact their U.S. Representative about supporting the legislation as well. More information is included in this message, which the Society sent to Key Contact members on Tuesday.

Physicians can call their representative’s office directly via the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Physicians Grassroots Network hotline: 800.833.6354. The AMA has prepared this “SGR action kit” to enhance communication with lawmakers during these final two weeks of March.

To learn more about becoming a Society Key Contact, click here.

Back to March 19, 2015 Medigram