November 25, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy
Six of the largest medical associations in the United States, representing a majority of the nation’s Medicare beneficiaries, have signed a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee asking them to incorporate the California locality update into the legislation to repeal the flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. The letter also asks that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) be required to study and develop long-term approaches to transition other negatively impacted states to new localities to improve payment accuracy.
Earlier this month the two committees released an unprecedented bipartisan and bicameral “discussion draft” to repeal the SGR and reform the Medicare payment system. The draft legislation did not, however, include a physician payment locality update. In July, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved another bipartisan bill (H.R. 2810) to overhaul the SGR — this bill does include a California Medical Association (CMA)-sponsored "GCPI fix" that would update the California county-based localities to the same Metropolitan Statistical Areas used to determine payment rates for hospitals. The bill would also hold the physicians in rural counties harmless from the corresponding cuts that would otherwise occur.
The state medical associations signing the letter include: Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Texas.
Contact: Elizabeth McNeil, (415) 882-3376 or firstname.lastname@example.org.