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Tuesday

 

Neurologists seek action on SGR: The Policy & Practice podcast


Whether it’s a fix for the looming 24% Medicare physician fee cut or extending the Medicaid primary care payment boost, physicians are looking to Congress for action.

Many physician organizations are rallying behind legislation (H.R. 4015) that would permanently repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. The American Medical Association and more than 600 other groups are calling on Congress to pass the legislation in the next few weeks, before the latest temporary funding patch expires on March 31.

The bill could come up in the House as early as this week, but it likely won’t stand alone. GOP House leaders may package it with a measure to significantly delay or repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Putting off the mandate’s penalties is expected to save the government money on administration, which would be used to offset the cost of the SGR fix.

But since a repeal of the individual mandate is a nonstarter for most Democrats in Congress, it could doom the SGR bill, at least for now.

Last week, the House approved legislation that would delay the individual mandate’s penalty by 1 year. Though it passed the House by 250 to 160, it is not expected to advance in the Senate.

But the Republicans aren’t the only ones who want to alter the ACA.The Obama administration, after prodding from some Democrats in Congress, announced that it would allow health plans that don’t meet the ACA’s minimum criteria to be renewed as late as Oct. 1, 2016.
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