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WASHINGTON, DC—Growing momentum on Capitol Hill behind a permanent repeal of Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and related opportunities for broader physician payment reform drew advocates from across the health sector today to a National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) forum today. “2013 is the year to put the SGR behind us and move toward delivering higher-quality, well-coordinated care at lower cost,” said John Rother, NCHC’s President and CEO and moderator of the event.
WASHINGTON, DC—The National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), joined by leading consumer and disease organizations, medical societies, business organizations, and pension funds, urged a bipartisan effort to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment formula and transition toward value-based reimbursement in Medicare in a letter sent to Congressional chairmen Friday. “No longer is this just a physicians’ issue. Payment approaches based on value, not volume, are essential to affordability for consumers, payers and taxpayers,” said NCHC President and CEO John Rother. The letter was addressed to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). Since its enactment in 1997, the SGR has threatened to impose across-the-board cuts to reimbursement for physicians and other providers paid through Medicare the physician fee schedule. Congress has responded with a series of temporary measures to avert the cuts. However, this year, a newly reduced estimate of the budgetary impact of a permanent repeal has sparked renewed interest in a longer-term solution.
On Wednesday, April 17th, the National Coalition on Health Care joined forces with 34 other leading health care organizations on a letter urging passage of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act (MDPA). In 2012, diabetes costs reached $245 billion, a 41% increase in just the past five years. To help curb this trend, the MDPA would ensure that Medicare beneficiaries at risk of diabetes could participate in the Diabetes Prevention Program. This evidence-based, cost effective community program empowers patients to take charge of their health, and it has proven to significantly reduce the rate of diabetes onset among participants. The legislation has been introduced as S.452 by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and as HR 962 by Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA).
Washington, D.C.—NCHC joined four other organizations representing diverse constituencies involved in the nation’s health care to present five consensus recommendations today for improving health care quality while lowering costs nationwide. Calling itself the Partnership for Sustainable Health Care, the group includes nationally prominent advocates for employers, insurers, consumers, health care providers and others. Participants include America’s Health Insurance Plans, Ascension Health, Families USA, National Coalition on Health Care and Pacific Business Group on Health. “These five ideas are game-changers that can place our health system on a sustainable path. Together, they can provide significant long-term relief for families and businesses facing rising costs and uneven quality,” said John Rother, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care. “By encouraging new forms of health care delivery and spending our health care dollars more wisely, they can produce the real health-cost reform that our elected leaders in Washington have been searching for.”