MedPAC Tackles Provider Payment Reform; Will Congress Do the Same?

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October 6, 2011

CONTACT: Lindsay Harnish

MedPAC Tackles Provider Payment Reform; Will Congress Do the Same?

Statement by NCHC President and CEO John Rother on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s proposal to reform Medicare’s provider payment system and eliminate the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.

“MedPAC has produced an honest attempt to cut the Gordian knot of federal health policy and ending the SGR.  Whether or not MedPAC’s shared sacrifice approach is the right one, at least MedPAC has gotten serious about addressing provider payment. It is long past time that our elected leaders do the same.

“Instead of an annual spectacle of SGR-mandated provider cuts and last-minute deals to avert them, America needs a thorough overhaul of the fee-for-service payment system which drives unnecessary costs and utilization in Medicare and the private market alike.

“Elements of the plan approved today would bolster accountable care reforms which can yield high-quality care for all at lower prices.  However, some of the proposed offsets risk further cost-shifting to providers, businesses, health plans, and beneficiaries.

“If we’re ever going to rein in the health costs strangling our nation’s consumers, businesses, and public institutions, we must redesign provider payment to encourage the highest-value care for patients. MedPAC’s proposal should spur the Congress and the Administration to get to work.”


The NCHC Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) not for profit organization devoted to public education, and advocacy to secure stable affordable health care for America. The National Coalition on Health Care, the oldest and most diverse alliance of groups committed to securing and sustaining health care system reform, is a 501(c)(3) organization. Some members of the National Coalition Health Care (NCHC) do not, or cannot, take positions either on specific legislation, strategies or on any policies outside their respective mission areas. Not every member of NCHC has a position on or supports every position of the NCHC Action Fund. However, all that can, do endorse broad policy positions do support comprehensive health system reform. Both organizations are located at 1120 G Street, NW, Suite 810, Washington, DC 20005. Phone: (202) 638-7151.