Legislation designed to reinforce the repeal of Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) and other enhancements in healthcare delivery has reportedly gained backing from the American Medical Association (AMA) in an effort to urge Congress’ support in reforming the Medicare physician payment system. The AMA states that it has voiced its strong support of the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 (HR 4015/ S 200) and also sent a letter to congressional leaders praising the bipartisan and bicameral legislation, designating it as a “significant accomplishment.”

Additional enhancements the legislation is intended to provide include positive annual updates to Medicare rates, quality standards developed by physicians, and a pathway to new models of healthcare delivery and payment.

According to Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, AMA president, the legislation represents “not only critical payment and delivery reform, but prudent fiscal policy as well. Congress must seize this opportunity to strengthen Medicare and end the costly pattern of short-term patches to a flawed formula that has frustrated physicians, threatened access for beneficiaries, and created a budgetary dilemma from which Congress has struggled to emerge from more than a decade.”

A release from the AMA states that to date, Congress has spent $153.7 billion for 12 years on SGR patches.

Hoven explains that, “The SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act will establish a transition to a more stable Medicare physician payment policy that better serves America’s senior citizens, veterans, military families and people with disabilities.”

[Source: AMA]