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March 07, 2014

AAOS President Comments on SGR Status

Washington, DC—The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) continues to applaud the progress made towards a permanent repeal and replacement of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, but is concerned with recent reports that offsets are being considered that were not agreed to in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion. H.R. 4015/S. 2000 represents the most significant step yet toward replacing Medicare’s current payment formula – a formula that has plagued the health care industry for over a decade – and physicians and patients are closer than ever to reaching Medicare reform goals with this patient-centric, fiscally-responsible solution. It is time to continue these bipartisan negotiations and enact H.R. 4015/S. 2000 rather than derail years of work and recent bipartisan progress because of partisan offsets.
 
“The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) strongly supports the bipartisan, bicameral policy in H.R. 4015/S. 2000, but is very concerned with recent reports that the offsets for this legislation were not developed in the same bipartisan manner,” says Joshua J. Jacobs, MD, President of AAOS. “A permanent fix of the SGR formula is essential in ensuring Medicare’s solvency and improving care delivery. AAOS implores Congress to find an offset for H.R. 4015/S. 2000 that would provide a real opportunity to see this legislation enacted.”
 
H.R. 4015/S. 2000, The SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014, would replace the flawed SGR formula with a system that focuses on quality, value and accountability. The bill was introduced on February 6, 2014, and is based on legislation unanimously approved by three separate legislative committees, including the House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee. The current SGR patch expires on March 31, 2014, at which point the SGR formula calls for a 24 percent across-the-board cut to physician payments.

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Contact(s):
Elizabeth Fassbender
(202) 548-4143
fassbender@aaos.org

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