Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. released the following statement in regards to the temporary fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula passed today by the House of Representatives:
"Last November, I voted to permanently address the issue of how physicians and hospitals will be paid for medically necessary Medicare and TRICARE covered products and services. Today, I voted in favor of the best the Senate could muster, a temporary fix, and I will continue to work hard with my colleagues to guarantee that essential care remains available to all those in need."
On November 19, 2009, the House of Representatives passed the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act to replace the broken Sustainable Growth Rate formula, and correct a decade of mismanagement of the Medicare program with a permanent, sustainable solution. The bill has since been blocked in the U.S. Senate while a series of temporary fixes have been passed.
The measure passed today prevents a 21% cut in Medicare physician payment reimbursements through November 30. It also protects members of the military, our veterans and their families since physician payment rates in TRICARE are tied to those used by Medicare.
Permanently fixing the SGR formula will ensure that our veterans and seniors continue to get the quality care they need.