Known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), the formula is set to trigger a drastic cut of nearly 30 percent on January 1, 2012 and threatens access to care for Medicare patients. The organizations told policymakers that the cost of physician payment reform has been growing over the years as Congress enacted frequent short-term fixes. As recently as 2005 the cost of permanent reform would have been $48 billion, but today it is estimated to be nearly $300 billion over the next ten years. If Congress does not act now, the cost will continue to escalate to $500 billion in only a few short years.
The NCMS supports an AMA call to repeal the failed SGR formula, implement a five-year period of stable Medicare physician payments, and testing demonstration and pilot projects that could form the basis for a new Medicare physician payment system.