President Obama Signs Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013

President Obama signed the “budget bill” which includes the Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013 on December 26thThis 3-month SGR (sustainable growth rate) patch is intended to give Congress time to find a replacement for the SGRThe impact on Medicare reimbursement is:

  • Delays the 20.1% SGR cut in provider payments from January 1 until April 1, 2014
  • Current Medicare rates increase by 0.5% for medical services performed from  January 1 through March 31, 2014
  • Sequestration reduction of 2% remains in effect for 2014 and is extended two years until 2023
  • 3-month extension of  the following Medicare policies (previously set to expire on December 31, 2013):

-      Therapy Cap Exceptions

-      GPCI (geographic pricing cost index) floor

-      Certain ambulance add-on payments

In preparing this bill, committees in both the Senate and the House drafted similar SGR reform legislation but neither has proposed how the costs of repealing the SGR will be offset (“paid for”). As a result, most observers are skeptical that permanent reform will be in place before April.

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