The House Energy and Commerce Committee today voted 51-0 to advance H.R. 2810, the Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act, to repeal the broken sustainable growth rate formula (SGR) and replace it with a system that promotes the highest quality of care for America's seniors while providing physicians with the certainty that they need to run their practices. It simplifies the process and eliminates onerous paperwork, allowing physicians to focus on patient care. H.R. 2810 is the product of more than two years of transparent and bipartisan work involving members of both the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees, as well as input from expert medical organizations. Committee leaders are committed to completing the effort in a fiscally responsible manner and look forward to its consideration by the full House of Representatives.
"The time of temporary patches and kicking the can down the road is over. For more than two years, this committee has worked to develop a reform policy to repeal the SGR, and the discussion draft before us today, sponsored by Dr. Burgess, is the first meaningful product to do so since SGR was created in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997," said Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA).
"If the SGR goes into effect, as some have suggested -- it would mean providers would face a 25% cut. This uncertainty threatens access to care for seniors and their provider's ability to run their practices. Instead, this legislation preserves an enhanced fee for service. It repeals the SGR and provides a period of payment transition. This is yet another important step forward in an extremely collaborative and transparent process," said Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), lead sponsor of the legislation.
"H.R. 2810 remedies this ailing physician payment system while encouraging the highest quality of care for America's seniors. It gives seniors the peace of mind of knowing that their trusted physician will be there for them by securing stable payments for doctors and gives physicians the certainty that they need to care for their patients by removing the specter of a practice-killing 25% across-the-board pay cut. Today's vote is an important milestone, but we are all resolved to achieve reform in a fiscally responsible manner, and despite our significant progress, we will not be satisfied until the ink is dry on the president's signature," said full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).