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President Obama's Signature Averts 25 Percent Physician Payment Cut

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, President Obama signed into law a 12-month Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula fix H.R. 4994, the "Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010." This legislation averts a 25 percent Medicare physician payment cut that was set to occur January 1, 2011. The Senate passed this legislation by unanimous consent and the House passed it by a vote of 409-2.

ASA President Mark A. Warner M.D. said the following on the passage of this 12-month SGR fix:
“I commend Congress for passage of the 12-month SGR fix that prevents a massive payment cut of 25 percent.  At the same time, I remain mindful that this bill does not fix what is broken. One year from now we will face the same daunting scenario.  The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) must be repealed and permanently replaced with a payment system that accurately reflects the costs of providing care. With the American public and Congress increasingly concerned about federal deficits and cutting government spending, finding the resources to fund such a repeal -- reported to cost approximately $300 billion – will be extraordinarily challenging.”

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