Internists Support Proposed Legislation to Repeal and Replace Sustainable Growth Rate

American College of Physicians reacts to Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) efforts by Senate Finance, House Ways & Means and House Energy & Commerce Committees

Statement attributable to:
Charles Cutler, MD, FACP
Chair, Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians (ACP)

Washington, February 6, 2014 — The College strongly supports the "SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014" (H.R. 4015). We are especially pleased that the agreement includes the following elements:

  • Repeals the SGR and replaces it with a system focused on quality, value, and accountability.
  • Removes the imminent threat of physician payment cuts and ensures a 5-year period of annual updates of 0.5 percent to transition to the new system.
  • Improves the existing fee-for-service system by rewarding value over volume.
  • Consolidates the three existing quality programs into a streamlined and improved program that rewards physicians who meet performance thresholds and improve care for seniors.
  • Rewards physicians that engage in clinical practice improvement activities that will help facilitate their future participation in alternative payment models (APMs)
  • Implements a process to improve payment accuracy.
  • Creates incentives for care coordination efforts for patients with chronic care needs.
  • Creates incentives for physicians to move into APMs, including a 5 percent bonus to physicians who receive a significant portion of their revenue from an APM, including patient centered medical homes (PCMH).
  • Establishes a process to review and recommend physician-developed APMs based on criteria developed through an open comment process.
  • Expands the use of Medicare data for transparency and quality improvement

ACP will continue to work with members of Congress to get this bill to the President for his signature no later than March 31, 2014, in time to prevent a scheduled 24 percent payment cut on April 1, 2014.

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 137,000 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.

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