Medicare SGR and sequestration cuts averted

  • Thanks in part to the efforts of the FMA and other physician advocacy groups across the nation, a nearly 30-percent cut in Medicare physician payments was averted on Jan. 1 when the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 8, following the U.S. Senate's approval of the package. Current Medicare physician payment rates are extended through Dec. 31, 2013.

    This provision avoids the 26.5-percent cut required by the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. The $25 billion cost for the SGR patch and additional expenses forother Medicare extender provisions were offset by an array of provisions such as reductions in hospital payments. This helps to ensure that physicians get paid for the care they deliver to patients. The FMA is proud to have been astrong proponent of fixing the physician payment formula or, at the very least, preventing the devastating cuts to our members' reimbursements.

    The FMA will continue pushing members of the U.S. Congress to replace the SGR once and for all with a permanent, sustainable system that fairly reimburses physicians who treat Medicare patients. Help us strengthen that message by sharing your stories. Please tell us how your practice has been affected by the constant threat of Medicare payment cuts, and whether a permanent SGR fix would allow you to provide care to more Medicare patients.