APA Urges Senate Passage of the Medicare Formula Fix, Repeal of SGR

Thu March 26, 2015

For Information Contact:
Glenn O'Neal, 703-907-8640
Erin Connors, 703-907-8562

ARLINGTON, Va – The American Psychiatric Association (APA) applauds today’s bipartisan House vote on legislation that would repeal the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for Medicare physician payment rates. The APA urges quick Senate action on the bill.

This legislation, SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2), would repeal the SGR and establish a series of payment reforms under Medicare focusing on quality instead of volume. Future payments would be determined by a doctor’s participation in integrated care settings, health outcomes and quality measures.

If Congress does not act by March 31, physician Medicare payments will be cut by 21 percent. For the past several years, rather than repealing the SGR, Congress has instituted a series of “patches” that have effectively postponed scheduled cuts to doctor reimbursement rates.

“We support this long-overdue reform of the Medicare payment formula and elimination of the SGR,” said APA President Paul Summergrad, M.D. “The physician payment system needs to be stabilized for the sake of our patients and for our physicians who care for them.”

APA joins a number of other medical organizations in supporting the legislation, including the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association. The APA has long advocated, along with the rest of the medical community, for a repeal of the SGR and a strong emphasis on policy reforms that tie future Medicare physician payments to quality measurement and encouragement of integrated care.

“APA strongly supports the bipartisan legislation the House passed and will continue to partner with the AMA and the other medical societies to urge all Senators to vote yes to send the bill to President Obama, who has already said he would sign it,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A.

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose more than 36,000 physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at www.psychiatry.org.


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