The dreaded SGR (Sustained Growth Rate) is poised to immediately drop the Medicare reimbursement rate to physicians by 41%. The law that set this in motion was passed by Congress in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act. But. beginning in 2002 the formula has decreed reductions, with the first one that year of 5.4% actually taking effect. Since that time there has been an annual ritual of kicking the can down the road by postponing the reduction that year and adding it to the total payment reduction which has now ballooned to 41%.
For the first time since the law was passed 18 years ago, we are as close as ever to seeing the SGR being repealed. Physicians are being asked to call their US Senators to repeal the SGR law. The US House has already passed a bill to this end, but now the Senate, after returning from a recess is set to vote on this, perhaps within a week. Senator Patty Murray was first elected to the US Senate in 1992, and Senator Maria Cantwell was has been in the Senate since 2001, so both are familiar with taking measures each year to defer the SGR.
Email Senator Murray
Email Senator Cantwell