March 30, 2015
On Friday, March 27, Congress adjourned for their spring recess without passing legislation that would permanently repeal Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) and provide incentives for doctors to focus on value-driven care. Earlier in the week, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) introduced H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. In a rare bipartisan move, the House of Representatives easily passed H.R. 2 with a vote of 392-37. However, the Senate could not reach an agreement during their late night “vote-a-rama,” a marathon session of voting on the dozens of amendments being considered for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget.
The Senate has scheduled a vote for the SGR in April, after Congress returns to Washington. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) cannot pay electronic claims any sooner than 14 days after receipt. As a result, while the 21% pay cut will apply to claims for all services rendered after March 31, physicians will not experience any problems if the Senate passes the bill and the president signs it by April 14.
More information on the SGR can be found here.