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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

TEXANS IN CONGRESS PUSHING SGR REPLACEMENT, IPAB REPEAL

The No. 1 issue of our Washington trip was replacing Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. As Health Subcommittee chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) is a leading proponent of a three-phase Republican plan that would eliminate the SGR and institute a payment system that rewards physicians first on physician-endorsed quality measures and later on efficiency. Progress on this perennial issue so early in the year is a good sign. Meanwhile, across the Capitol, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is one of the top sponsors of a bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Deleting this one-sided cost-cutting board that was created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an important provision in TMA’s Healthy Vision 2020. “As we’ve seen with the SGR, it’s obvious that cuts the IPAB enacts will devastate Medicare beneficiaries’ ability to find physicians to care for them,” Healthy Vision states. “The issue of Medicare spending for 3.8 million Texans is too important to be left in the hands of an unaccountable board that makes decisions based solely on cost.”

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