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Monday, July 1, 2013

CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE RELEASES NEW MEDICARE PAYMENT PLAN

Leaders of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee released the framework of a plan that, in their words, “would repeal SGR and, in return, replace it with an improved fee for service system in which providers develop quality measures that will lead to better care in a more efficient manner.” For several years, the panel has worked with members of the House Ways and Means Committee to draft a solid replacement for Medicare’s faulty Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. Two Texas congressmen — Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville), and Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) — have played major roles in drafting this legislation. Representative Burgess called it “a common sense solution that keeps doctors in practice and maintains access for their patients.” Replacing the SGR is one of the key elements in TMA’s federal advocacy agenda. Look for an action alert after the July 4 holiday asking you to contact Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and your representative in support of repealing the SGR, stopping ICD-10, and allowing Medicare beneficiaries to contract directly with physicians for care.

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