NCCS joined colleagues in the Cancer Leadership Council in commending the work of the Senate Finance Committee on the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014. The legislation offers a responsible process for moving the Medicare program away from a system that emphasizes volume of services to one that focuses on quality of care. The CLC urged consideration and passage of this bill – which repeals the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and provides incentives for physicians to undertake quality improvement efforts and to participate in alternative payment models. Although the SGR formula was intended to control spending on physician payments, it has not achieved its intended purpose. Instead, both physicians and patients have experienced the anxiety of anticipated reductions in Medicare payment and the potential that those payment reductions would disrupt care. Although Congress has over the last decade approved many short-term measures to prevent decreases in Medicare payments, such actions are not the optimal solution for addressing the flaws of SGR. Repealing the SGR formula is in the best interest of the Medicare program and the beneficiaries who depend on it.
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