Budget Bill Gets Thumbs Down From Physician Groups

The House ended its "lame duck" session with a budget deal that didn't please most physician groups.

The $1.1 trillion budget bill, which was passed by the House on Thursday and is expected to be passed shortly by the Senate, is lacking any fix to the widely hated sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for physician reimbursement under Medicare. Also missing in action: an extension of the current pay bump for primary care physicians who see Medicaid patients.

Anders Gilberg, senior vice president for government affairs at the Medical Group Management Association's (MGMA) Washington office, said he was disappointed about the lack of an SGR fix, especially since there was already generally agreed-upon legislation to fix it.

"The medical community has been pushing hard to have the SGR addressed in a lame duck session because this is the only time the legislation has advanced in both houses in all parties of jurisdiction," he told MedPage Today in a phone interview. "The policy was basically totally agreed on; the big impediment was paying for it ... Now we've totally hit the 'Reset' button on this issue."

Go to top