House debates how to pay for SGR fix

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health are working on yet another attempt to reform the unpopular Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, according to Healthcare Finance News.

Healthcare industry groups have long called for the permanent repeal of the formula, which ties Medicare payment growth to the overall growth of the economy. Last year a bipartisan proposal to permanently repeal the SGR failed, leading to another short-term patch set to expire at the end of March. Committee members held a two-day meeting this week to find ways to offset the cost of another delay, which Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), the author of last year's patch, put at about $140 billion.

"The question is how to pay for SGR reform in a manner that can pass both Houses of Congress and be signed by the president," said Pitts, according to the article. "Some argue that SGR reform does not need to be paid for. I respectfully disagree."

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