HomeWashington Letter2014 ▶ House Passes 1 Year SGR Patch and ICD-10 Delay, Senate Action Pending
House Passes 1 Year SGR Patch and ICD-10 Delay, Senate Action Pending

March 2014

This week the pathway to the repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) took an unfortunate and unexpected twist. After months of encouraging progress on a bipartisan solution to permanently repeal and replace the SGR formula, Congress was unable to agree on how to pay for the SGR fix, and instead passed a temporary SGR patch. The Senate is expected to vote on the House bill early next week. While the situation in the Senate is not fully clear, it appears the Senate will pass the House bill. If the Senate passed the House bill, it will be the 17th time Congress has passed a temporary SGR patch.

In addition to delaying the 24 percent cut in Medicare physician services reimbursement and replacing it with a 0 percent update through March 31, 2015, the House Bill includes a number of other Medicare and health provisions. Of interest to the physician community is the additional one-year delay in ICD-10 implementation until Oct. 1, 2015. The news of a potential ICD-10 delay has been met with mixed reactions. The hospital industry, health information system providers, and early adopters of ICD-10 will be displeased with the delay, while physicians still mired in the complexities of ICD-10 will appreciate the delay.

The bill includes a number of other health provisions such as the delay of the two-midnight rule, extension of GPCI payment provisions, extension ambulance add on provisions, extension of Medicare Dependent Hospital provisions, pediatric quality measures programs, and a request for a GAO study on children hospital payments.

Last Reviewed: October 2017