NCMS Among Organizations Asking Deficit Reduction Committee To Repeal the SGR

The North Carolina Medical Society joined dozens of national and state physician organizations on Thursday in asking the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to include a repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula in its final legislation. The call for a repeal came in a letter to members of the Committee as they held their first meeting.

In the letter, the organizations stressed that “…it is important to note that the current budget baseline assumes that massive physician payment cuts will be implemented, even though Congress has rejected less severe cuts 12 times over the past decade. This SGR deficit is being kept ‘off the books,’ which is inconsistent with accurate budget practices. In fact, Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have stated that the current law baseline does not reflect the policies that Congress has operated by in recent years. Any effort to stabilize our nation’s finances must be based on a true assessment of future expenditures.”

The organizations estimate that the continued delay in replacing the SGR has escalated the cost of permanent payment reform, from $48 billion in 2005 to nearly $300 billion today. If additional short-term interventions are applied, they estimate the cost will double to about $600 billion by 2016.

“With a 30 percent across-the-board payment cut in physician services scheduled for January 1, 2012, the implications of continuing this practice of simply putting off cuts to future years are clear. Continued access to care for our nation’s senior and disabled citizens is seriously threatened.”

Click here to read the letter.


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