Report: SGR reckoning will be damaging to Medicare, providers

The nearly decade-long series of Congressional delays in implementing the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for Medicare has the potential to create significant fiscal damage to the program, its participating physicians, and perhaps even the creditworthiness of the provider community, reports MedeAnalytics.

"Putting off reform of the SGR even for a year would result in implementation of a very significant decrease to Medicare physician fees in calendar year 2012," said Ken Pererz, a MedeAnalytics vice president who authored the report. Currently, the physicians are scheduled to undergo a 29.5 percent fee cut as of January 1.

However, Perez also cautions that the so-called "permanent fix" to SGR will also "impose costly years of reckoning." And implementing another temporary fix--which has been customary over the past decade--would only increase the cost of any permanent solutions.

"Although arcane and heretofore obscure, SGR reform merits entry into the calculus of deficit reduction and will be factored into the appraisal of our nation's creditworthiness by the credit rating agencies," Perez said.

To learn more:
- read the MedeAnalytics press release
- check out the report