On Sunday, March 2, the ASA Board of Directors voted to take “no position at this time” on H.R. 4015/S.2000, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014. The legislation would repeal the current SGR formula and replace the formula with a new Medicare payment system. Specifically, the legislation provides for modest payment updates for the first five years of the proposal followed by a five year period of payment freezes. Physicians would be eligible for additional payment adjustments based upon their participation in a new performance assessment program to be known as the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System or MIPS.
The bicameral and bipartisan proposal is pending in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Current discussions related to the legislation center around identifying the necessary budgetary offsets to fund the legislation. These offsets could include significant cuts in Medicare programs to offset the $138 billion spending increase contained in H.R.4015/S.2000.
During Board discussion of the legislation, Board members expressed strong support for Congressional efforts to repeal the current flawed SGR formula. The Board urged that the ASA continue to monitor Congressional consideration of the legislation especially as it relates to payment updates to physicians over the next ten years, anesthesiologists’ participation in both the proposed new MIPS performance assessment program and the Alternative Payment Model (APMs) program, and the impact on the specialty of the proposed mis-valued procedure provision.
Read more about the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014.