A bipartisan, bicameral measure (HR 4015, S 2000) that would repeal and replace Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula would cost $138.4 billion from 2014 through 2024, according to a recent Congressional Budget Office estimate.
However, lawmakers are still trying to determine how to fund the bill. The current SGR fix expires on March 31, which would cause physicians to face a 24 percent decrease in their Medicare reimbursement rates.
The SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act, which was crafted by the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees, would repeal the SGR formula, which sets physician payment rates, and institute a 0.5 percent annual payment increase between 2014 and 2018. The increase would be maintained until 2018 to ensure payment stability and help doctors transition to new care models.