Although there were high expectations that legislation to permanently repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) would pass this year, lawmakers have acknowledged that there is not enough time on the 2013 legislative calendar to enact a permanent "doc fix". The Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees are expected to vote on a bipartisan proposal that would repeal the SGR next week.
However, the two committee votes are scheduled just days before Congress adjourns for the year, and, even if they pass, the bill will not have enough time to make it through the entire legislative process.
Lawmakers are now considering legislation that would delay by one to three months a 24% cut to physician reimbursements that is scheduled to take effect on January 1. In the meantime, lawmakers are expected to continue to consider plans to permanently repeal the SGR.