The Alliance of Specialty Medicine wrote to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee in response to the committees’ proposal to replace the Sustainable Growth Rate or SGR. In its detailed response, the Alliance covers several elements that are critical to any physician payment proposal, including:
- Repeal of the SGR, followed by a minimum 5-year period of stability in Medicare physician payment;
- Physician-led quality improvement that allows the medical profession and medical specialties to determine the most appropriate and clinically relevant quality improvement metrics and strategies for use in future quality initiatives;
- Positive financial incentives rather than penalties and withholds;
- Flexible criteria that allow physician participation and engagement in delivery and payment models that are meaningful to their practices and patient populations, including FFS;
- Elimination of penalties and cumbersome reporting requirements associated with current federal quality reporting programs, such as the PQRS, EHR Incentive Program, and Value-Based Modifier, while allowing physicians and specialties to retain elements of these programs that are appropriate and relevant for use in any new quality improvement program;
- Legal protections for physicians who follow clinical practice guidelines and quality improvement program requirements;
- Repeal of the IPAB;
- Allow for private contracting.
The Alliance looks forward to further working with both House committees to find a permanent and meaningful solution to the SGR.