The negotiations between House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi regarding a proposed deal to eliminate the annual “doc fix” problem (previously discussed here) has resulted in the introduction of bills in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. On March 19, members of both houses of Congress announced that a deal had been reached to permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula used to calculate changes to physician fee schedules for Medicare payments. Passage of the proposed legislation would put an end to the perennial “doc fix” problem requiring Congress to repeatedly postpone cuts in payments to Medicare providers.
Although a deal was reached among Congressional leaders, the bills must still be passed by both houses of Congress and be signed into law. If this does not occur by March 31, 2015, the expiration date of last year’s Congressional action to delay payment cuts, a new action will be required to again postpone the cuts.