Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ 07) today announced the Energy and Commerce Committee has advanced legislation to repeal Medicare's flawed physician payment formula and replace it with a system that rewards doctors for high-quality care. The Seventh District lawmaker serves on the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
"Today's action to repeal the broken sustainable growth rate and replace it with a fair and stable system of payments will bring much-needed certainty to the medical community and improved high quality care to America's senior citizens," said Lance. "I am proud to have been part of this bipartisan effort."
Under the current system, thanks to Medicare's faulty "sustainable growth rate" (SGR), Congress must intervene every year to avoid a dramatic pay cut to providers.
The Energy and Commerce-passed measure would reform and modernize the Medicare physician payment system by repealing the SGR and creating options for doctors to be paid based on the quality of their care rather than the volume of services they provide. This strategy is expected to lower healthcare costs gradually over time. Providers who remain in the traditional, volume-based "fee for service" model would see a permanent five percent pay cut under the bill.
Over the past several months the Seventh District lawmaker hosted a number of roundtables, constituent discussions and town hall meetings where he sought information from medical experts, leading patient groups and provides on how to best address the so-called "doc fix" issue. Lance said the suggestions received have been incorporated into the final legislative product.
"Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee have once again shown that Republicans and Democrats can work together for the greater good. This bipartisan effort today places Medicare on a path of innovation and high quality, not volume of services, and puts doctors, not bureaucrats, back in charge of medicine," concluded Lance.
The bill is expected to be considered by the full House of Representatives sometime in the Fall.