Health Care

SGR Continues to Slow Health Care Cost Growth

The Senate voted 64-35 today to approve a 12-month temporary “doc fix” to push back the impending nearly 25 percent cut to Medicare physician payments dictated by the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.

Gimmick in Doc Fix Patch Should Be Replaced with Real Savings

Congress is considering another 12-month doc fix, averting a 24 percent cut in Medicare physician payments scheduled for April 1. While the SGR patch contains several serious reforms that would reduce future health care costs, it contains one big accounting gimmick that accounts for about one-fifth of the bill's savings.

One-Year Doc Fix Emerges

(Updated to incorporate new information from the Congressional Budget Office's score of the doc fix bill)

Administration Softens Sequester Impact on Health Reform Again

A new rule proposed by the administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would effectively eliminate the sequester for another portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), just days after the administration exempted the health care law's cost-sharing subsidies from the sequester.

CBO: Senate "Doc Fix" Would Add $215 Billion to the Debt

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a new estimate of the fiscally irresponsible Senate “doc fix” bill, showing it would increase Medicare spending by $180 billion over the next ten years, adding $215 billion to the debt by 2024 when interest costs are included.

Unpaid-for Doc Fix Could Cost Trillions over Long Run

Proposals to "pay for" (or not pay for) a repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula have come out this week, and the verdict has been mostly not good.

Actually, The SGR Has Slowed Health Care Cost Growth

To bolster their case against offsetting the high cost of SGR reform, many have claimed that the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) is “budget fakery” and represents “savings that aren’t going to be realized.” Yet while it’s true most SGR cuts have not gone into effect as scheduled, that doesn’t mean the SGR hasn’t helped to control health care costs.

Three Out of Four Doc Fix Plans Would Worsen the Debt

Note: This blog has been updated from its original posting to include the CBO score of the Senate Republican proposal.

Democratic SGR Offset Alternative Replaces One Gimmick With Another

Earlier today, we wrote that the the House Republican SGR bill would add to long-term deficits by using a timing gimmick to pay for permanent costs with temporary savings. It turns out, a Democratic alternative introduce by Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) would replace this gimmick with another – the war spending gimmick.

House SGR Bill Increases Long-Term Deficits

While the relevant congressional committees recently reached agreement on a bipartisan plan to replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula with a payment structure to better incentivize high-quality, higher-value care, the question of how to pay for that reform remains unresolved.

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