House Panel Releases Draft Bill To Repeal Medicare's Payment System For Doctors

The proposal would get rid of the sustainable growth rate formula and replace it with a system that rewards doctors based on quality and efficiency measures, MedPage Today reports.

MedPage Today: GOP: Repeal SGR And Grant Annual Pay Raises For 5 Years
House lawmakers late Thursday released the final draft of a bill that repeals Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula and replaces it with a system that incentivizes quality and efficiency starting in 2019. The bipartisan measure provides 5 years of stable Medicare payments starting next year, with reimbursements growing 0.5 percent for each year between then and 2018, according to the 70-page, yet-to-be-named bill. After those 5 years, physicians would be subject to having reimbursements based on performance on quality measures, or may opt out of that requirement if they practice in certain alternative payment models (Pittman, 7/18).

In other congressional news -

The Hill: Bill Would Exempt FDA User Fees From Cuts
A new bipartisan House bill would exempt Food and Drug Administration user fees from sequestration, the automatic federal budget cuts that took effect in March. The FDA's budget is substantially supported by user fees from the industries it regulates. The budget cuts are expected to shave about $85 million from the agency's budget in 2013 by hitting those fees (Viebeck, 7/18).

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