American College of Physicians (ACP) President Urges Enactment Before Current SGR Patch Expires
March 19, 2015
David A. Fleming, MD, MA, MACP
President, American College of Physicians (ACP)
The American College of Physicians congratulates Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for their leadership in bringing forward a fiscally-responsible bill to repeal the Medicare SGR formula and modernize the Medicare physician payment system, based directly on a bipartisan and bicameral bill agreed to last year by the chairs and ranking members of the congressional committees with jurisdiction over Medicare. The bill being introduced today achieves ACP's top priorities for physician payment reform.
Specifically, we are pleased that the proposal:
- Repeals the SGR.
- Provides physicians with positive and stable payment updates as they transition to new payment models.
- Offers pathways for physicians to earn positive updates for participating in quality improvement, clinical practice improvement, meaningful use of electronic health records, and for effective management of resources, in a new single Value-Based Payment (VBP) program that will replace the current three separate Medicare reporting programs (Medicare PQRS, Meaningful Use, and Medicare Value Modifier programs).
- Creates strong incentives for Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs) and other Alternative Payment Systems that improve the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients enrolled in Medicare.
Moreover, we are pleased that the bill is fiscally-responsible, by putting an end to the practice of Congress passing seemingly endless SGR "patches" that each time has cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars; 17 patches over the past 11 years that have neither achieved SGR repeal nor advanced real reform in physician payments.
ACP strongly urges both the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass this bill so it becomes law before the current, and we hope and expect, the final, SGR "patch" expires on April 1.
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 141,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.
Contact: David Kinsman, (202) 261-4554