“Permanent repeal and replacement of the SGR formula has been and continues to be a top priority of the AAOS,” stated Thomas C. Barber, MD, Chair of the AAOS Council on Advocacy. “Continuing the reckless system of patch after patch is harmful to the economy and to Medicare patients seeking access to specialties they desperately need. Physicians must have adequate support to provide coordinated care that will improve health, prevent costly complications, and enable physician participation in new payment and delivery models. We urge Congress to enact legislation to repeal and replace the SGR before the expiration of the current patch.”
Congress made significant progress last year with the introduction of the “SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014,” but instead, enacted the 17th SGR patch. Patches to the SGR are costly and hinder and divert resources from developing reimbursement systems that promote patient access to quality care. Over the past ten years, Congress has spent about $170 billion in short term patches. Since many physician offices are small businesses responsible for paying staff and bills, the pending 22 percent cut could result in offices closing, meaning patient access could be compromised. A permanent fix of the SGR formula is essential in ensuring Medicare’s solvency and improving care delivery.
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