By Mary Holloway Richard.
Senate Passes the bill repealing Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (“SGR”) formula just in time to avoid the looming cuts (21%) to physician payments.
Congressional members are purportedly patting themselves on the back as the bill goes to the President who has given assurances that he will sign it.
In the past weeks we have discussed possible amendments, but none of the amendments are included in the final legislation approved by the Senate. The bill extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”) for two years. The bill also provides physician incentives sure to impact both reimbursement and physician contracting include incentives to shift more patients to risk-based payment models. For physicians who are successful in this effort, as interpreted by CMS, the reimbursement will increase in 2019.
Approximately one-third of the cost of this package is offset by financial cuts to providers and increased costs to wealthier Medicare patients. The bill also includes additional funding for community health centers and a six-month delay in the enforcement of the payment policy for short inpatient stays known as the “two midnights” rule.
Mary Holloway Richard is recognized as one of the pioneers in health care law in Oklahoma. She has represented institutional and non-institutional providers of health services, as well as patients and their families. She also has significant experience in representing providers in regulatory matters.