Providers say a happy goodbye to SGR

By Ilene MacDonald

It took years, but in 2015 lawmakers finally repealed the controversial sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. The $214 billion "doc pay fix" legislation averted a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments.

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) replaced the SGR with an annual 0.5 percent raise for five years.

The legislation also awards a 5 percent bonus to providers who accrue at least a quarter of Medicare reimbursements under alternative value-based payment models, such as patient-centered medical homes, between 2018 and 2019. It also funds the Children's Health Insurance Program and community health centers for two more years.

Although some worry that the reimbursement outlined in the legislation isn't enough to keep up with costs over time, medical groups applauded the new legislation.

Providers say a happy goodbye to SGR