“A lot of people might not like the recommendations, but our membership has felt that we have to be responsible in suggesting alternative solutions to address the problems and it needs to be done in the framework of shared sacrifice, which we have already done a lot of on our own,” he says.
Last week, MedPAC ignored the AHA’s pleas and instead approved its plan to repeal the ineffective sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. In its place will be an equally controversial plan that will include, among other steps, cuts in reimbursement payments to specialists and frozen payments for primary care physicians.
The MedPAC proposal calls for a total of $335 billion in reimbursement reductions over 10 years. The plan’s “doc fix” would account for $100 billion. Specialists’ reimbursement rates would fall 5.9% each year for three years and then freeze for the following seven years. PCP reimbursements would be unchanged for the 10 years.
The Medicare commission has no authority beyond the recommendation, and Congress is free to ignore the findings, as it has for the last decade.