Ah, the physician sustainable growth rate formula — the health care reimbursement and policy gift that keeps on giving. Never implemented, though oft threatened, the SGR stands as a symbol of what power even the discussion of provider reimbursement cuts has for members of Congress and their health care provider constituents.
Since the latest extension/delay in SGR implementation expires very shortly, it is back on the agenda. Sadly, the SGR annual kick-the-can down the road fest does not include much discussion about what reasonable provider reimbursement would look like under Medicare, just a discussion about whether finally implementing the oft-delayed SGR cuts would be fair to providers.
Today, Modern HealthCare Reports that another kick-the-can down the road provision — pending DISH cuts– is in the bargaining mix for SGR:
Finally, the House deal would make a couple of changes to cuts to the Disproportionate Share Hospital program that were part of the Affordable Care Act. For starters, it would delay those cuts by another year, pushing them back to fiscal year 2016.
Continuous delay in implementing reasoned cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and subsidization, rolled over into seemingly unreasonable aggregated cuts, casts Congress as the rescuers of providers — a pretty valuable role to play indeed.