Washington, DC - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet applauded the passage of a bill that will provide long-term certainty for Medicare providers and patients. The bill repeals the outdated formula, known as the "sustainable growth rate" or SGR, for reimbursing Medicare providers for services. It replaces SGR with a streamlined payment system based on the quality of care.
"This bill is a step forward from the numerous short-term fixes that have cost taxpayers billions of dollars and only served as a temporary bandage," Bennet said. "It also allows Colorado's doctors to move toward a more innovative payment system and will provide long-term certainty for them and the seniors they treat."
Over the past decade, Medicare physician spending has exceeded the targets set by the SGR, resulting in the need for payment cuts under the formula. In order to avert these cuts and maintain services for Medicare patients, Congress has spent nearly $150 billion on short-term overrides during that time. This bill transitions from the current volume-based payment system to one that rewards quality, efficiency, and innovation.
The bill also includes a provision that Bennet previously authored in the Senate Finance Committee to expand access to Medicare claims data. It will help evaluate doctor and hospital performance and find innovative, more effective, and less expensive ways to offer health care to beneficiaries.
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