On May 10, 2013, Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT)—the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, respectively—issued a letter to the healthcare provider community declaring that “[t]he broken Medicare physician sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula must be repealed.” In doing so, the bipartisan pair of Senators sought input from the provider community regarding three issues:

  • What specific reforms should be made to the physician fee schedule to ensure that physician services are valued appropriately?
  • What specific policies should be implemented that could coexist with the current fee-for-service physician payment system and would identify and reduce unnecessary utilization to improve health and reduce Medicare spending growth?
  • Within the context of the current fee-for-service system, how specifically can Medicare most effectively incentivize physician practices to undertake the structural behavior, and other changes needed to participate in alternative payment models?

Providers who wish to respond to these questions are asked to submit comments to sgrcomments@finance.senate.gov by May 31, 2013.

A copy of the letter is available by clicking here.