For more than a decade, the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula has remained a hot topic of discussion across the healthcare spectrum. While Congress and health care experts alike agree that the SGR needs to be repealed and the Medicare payment systems needs to shift from volume to value, the route to reform is uncertain.
Currently, there are several legislative proposals on the table. In addition to a House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committee framework and a Senate Finance Committee framework, the Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act of 2013 (H.R. 574) offers a comprehensive SGR repeal plan.
Recently, the vice president of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Kim Alan Williams, MD, FACC, brought cardiology's message on payment reform and quality to Congressional leaders. Williams testified on behalf of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health during a hearing on SGR repeal and innovative payment reform.
Williams also took part in a National Coalition on Health Care panel discussion on how to build a transformed payment and delivery system post-SGR. He shared how the ACC’s tools and resources, including the National Cardiovascular Data Registry®, guidelines, appropriate use criteria, mobile apps and clinical toolkits, are improving quality and helping to bend the cost curve.