Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate

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Section 101 of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (MIEA-TRHCA) provided a 1-year update of 0% for the conversion factor for CY 2007 and specified that the conversion factor for CY 2008 must be computed as if the 1-year update had never applied. Section 101 of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA) provided a 6-month increase of 0.5% in the CY 2008 conversion factor, from January 1, 2008, through June 30, 2008, and specified that the conversion factor for the remaining portion of 2008 and the conversion factors for CY 2009 and subsequent years must be computed as if the 6-month increase had never applied. Section 131 of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) extended the increase in the CY 2008 conversion factor that was applicable for the first half of the year to the entire year, provided for a 1.1% increase to the CY 2009 conversion factor, and specified that the conversion factors for CY 2010 and subsequent years must be computed as if the increases had never applied.

House Passes Medicare ‘Doc Fix’ Bill

WASHINGTON—The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a measure to reformulate how Medicare reimburses physicians and other providers, a deal forged in a rare bipartisan alliance between the chamber’s top two leaders.

Fix the Medicare ‘doc fix’ with a long

OF ALL the manifestations of Washington dysfunction, none is more absurd than the annual “doc fix.” The origins of the problem lie in a 1997 attempt by Congress to rein in Medicare physician reimbursements. Lawmakers devised a “sustainable growth rate” that was supposed to link payments to statistical indicators of doctors’ costs and workload. Alas, the growth rate perversely encouraged excessive tests and procedures; when it actually began to reduce physicians’ pay rates significantly in 2003, medical lobbies got it temporarily repealed in what turned out to be the first of 16 doc fixes. The cumulative cost of these fixes now exceeds $150 billion, and the most recent one expires March 31.

Medicare ‘doc fix’ bill passes House

In a rare moment of bipartisanship bringing House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi together, the House passed the so called “doc fix.” The House passed it overwhelmingly, 392-37.

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