Staffers on Capitol Hill are Confident about Year-End Doc Fix Deal
October 16th, 2012
Both Republicans and Democrats alike remarked that a deal to prevent drastic cuts to physician payments under the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula would be achieved by year’s end, according to Politico Pro. Congress has made the “doc fix” for the past 10 years and will do so again this year, Josh Trent, health policy adviser to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK.), recently stated. The Sustainable Growth Rate, which Congress passed in 1997, was designed to curtail Medicare spending by cutting physician payments if the program's costs exceeded a set amount. As AGS members are aware, Congress has delayed the cuts since 2002, and has been on a continuous search for a more efficient “fix.” If legislators don't find another fix this year, physician payments would be cut by approximately 27 percent. It would cost roughly $316 billion over the next 10 years to fix the problem for the long term.