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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Congress Moves Closer To Changing How Medicare Pays Doctors

Today's post was shared by Kaiser Health News and comes from

Key House and Senate committees approved legislation Thursday to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate, the formula officials use to pay doctors who treat Medicare patients. KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey and Politico Pro’s Jennifer Haberkorn discuss.

>> Click here to download audio of the conversation.

MARY AGNES CAREY: Congress is one step closer to repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate, or SGR, Medicare's physician payment formula. Today key House and Senate committees approved legislation to repeal the formula and replace it with a different way to pay doctors who treat Medicare beneficiaries.
Politico Pro's Jennifer Haberkorn is covering that story and joins us now. Thanks for being with us.
JENNIFER HABERKORN, POLITICO PRO: Thanks so much for having me.
Today the Senate Finance Committee and, in the House, the Ways and Means Committee voted on a bipartisan basis to repeal the Medicare physician payment formula, also known as the SGR. How are those aproaches the same, and how do they differ?
JENNIFER HABERKORN: These bills are very similar. Both of them change the way that doctors are paid under Medicare and eliminate the Sustainable Growth Rate. That's the old formula under which Medicare pays doctors. Neither of them are paid for, which is going to be a significant issue, particularly for Republicans. And one of the big differences in the bills is that there's a permanent fix to a series of provisions that come up...
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