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Congress Holds Hearings on SGR Fix

January 2015

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held two days of hearings on the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula – better known as the SGR. The SGR is the formula used to calculate the annual Medicare physician payment update. Due to the formula's many flaws, the SGR has led to projected cuts in Medicare physician payments – including a projected 24% cut for 2015 payments. While Congress has spent over $169 billion in recent years to suspend the SGR payment cuts, it has not enacted legislation to repeal and replace the SGR formula.

The hearings focused on solutions to repeal and replace the formula. The largest stumbling block remains the estimated $140 billion cost of replacing the SGR.

The current SGR patch expires on March 1, 2015. The ATS and the rest of the physician community will urge Congress to enact legislation to replace and replace the SGR formula before the March 1 deadline.

Last Reviewed: October 2017