Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet issued the following statement on the Senate’s passage of a bill to temporarily patch the formula, known as the ‘sustainable growth rate’ or SGR, for how Medicare providers are reimbursed for services.
“While we are keeping doctor’s offices open for millions of Medicare patients, it’s disappointing that we are only doing so with a temporary solution. Colorado’s seniors and Medicare providers deserve the certainty that would come with a permanent solution like the bill the Senate Finance Committee passed in December. We may have kicked the can down the road for another year, but we will continue to work to fix this flawed system for doctors and patients alike.”
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. The bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee in December transitions from the current volume-based payment system to one that rewards quality, efficiency, and innovation.