Congress Patches SGR, Delays ICD-10
Congress has done it again. For the 17th time, lawmakers slapped yet another Band-Aid on Medicare to stave off a 24-percent physician payment cut under the fatally flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. It sets the next SGR cliff for April 1, 2015.
On March 27, the House of Representatives quickly passed HR 4302, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, on a voice vote with opposition from the American Medical Association and some other physician organizations. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) appealed to his fellow senators to consider a permanent fix for the SGR to no avail. The Senate passed the bill the evening of March 31, narrowly averting the drastic physician pay cut set to take place April 1. Read more...
Medicare Meltdown: Another Lost Opportunity
Congress came closer than ever to fixing the fatally flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula used to calculate physician fees every year. The stars appeared to align when both parties and both chambers of Congress actually agreed on a bill to once and for all eliminate the SGR problem that for the past decade threatened steep cuts to physician payments and to transition to a new quality reporting-based system. Read More...(Texas Medicine, June 2014)
Texas Physicians Call on Congress to Fix Medicare Formula Now
Physician leaders from the Texas Medical Association are in Washington today to urge every member of the Texas congressional delegation to cosponsor landmark legislation that would strengthen Medicare by updating the program’s troubled payment system. Read More... (March 5, 2014)
A bipartisan plan to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula is a good start but still needs work, the Texas Medical Association and eight other states in the Coalition of State Medical Societies say in a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee.
"Another patch, another 'doc fix,' is not acceptable," the coalition added in a follow-up memo to Congress. Read more...
Use the TMA Grassroots Action Center for talking points and an easy way to email Senators Cornyn and Cruz and your representative.
For more information
Medicare Advocacy: Current information on what actions Congress is taking or not taking to fix Medicare.
Medicare Meltdown Fact Sheet
Grandma and the Big Bad SGR!
To illustrate the impact Medicare fee cuts could have on patients in terms even a child can understand, TMA produced the "Grandma and the Big, Bad SGR" video. Feel free to share the video with your members of Congress, colleagues, friends, family, patients, and staff.
- Texas Physicians Call on Congress to Fix Medicare Formula Now - TMA News Release (March 5, 2014)
- TMA, Other State Societies Urge Congress' Medicare Help - TMA News Release (June 5, 2013)
- Medicare Payments Frozen for Another Year - Action Special Issue (Jan. 2, 2013)
- Drop in Physician Acceptance of Medicaid, Medicare Patients - TMA News Release (July 9, 2012)
- New Billing/Coding System: A Waste of Time and Money - TMA Statement (April 24, 2012)
- TMA Statement: Medicare "Doc Fix' Fixes Nothing - TMA Statement (Feb. 17, 2012)
- TMA Survey: Physicians Confused and Anxious - TMA News Release (Feb. 28, 2011)
- Seniors Face Medicare Meltdown, Again - TMA Statement (Feb. 13, 2011)
- Acceso a médicos a través de Medicare en peligro - TMA Statement (Feb. 13, 2011)
- Congress Heads Home With a Lump of Coal for Medicare Patients - TMA Statement (Dec. 21, 2011)
- Quit Playing Politics With Medicare Patient’s Health - TMA News Release (Dec. 16, 2011)
- Doctors Angry as Medicare Meltdown Looms - TMA Statement (Dec. 1, 2011)
- Will Congress Deny Health Care to Military Families? - TMA News Release (Nov. 1, 2011)
- Medicare Meltdown Forces Physicians Out of Medicare - TMA News Release (Oct. 6, 2011)
- Deficit Cuts Must Include Medicare Reform - Action (July 5, 2011)
- TMA: Congress Stopped the Bleeding but Medicare’s Still on Life Support - TMA Statement (June 24, 2010)
- Texas doctors opting out of Medicare at alarming rate, - Houston Chronicle (May 17, 2010)
- Congress Takes Vacation With Medicare Cuts Pending
- Physicians and Patients Unite Across the U.S. to Stop the Medicare Meltdown - TMA News Release
- Congress Allows Medicare Meltdown to Happen - TMA News Release (Feb. 26, 2010)
- Doctors both locally and nationally fearful of consequences of Medicare cuts - Waco Tribune-Herald (March 2, 2010)
- CMS Delays Physician Pay Cut in Hopes that Congress Will Resolve Issue - HealthLeaders Media (March 1, 2010)
- The House Puts Off the Medicare Pay Cut—Again - Newsweek (Feb. 26, 2010)