On July 31, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously approved the Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act (MPAQIA) – bipartisan legislation. View the bill at http://energycommerce.house.gov/press-release/committee-advances-fair-transparent-bipartisan-bill-reform-medicare-physician-payments. The legislation would permanently repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and develop a new physician payment system centered on quality of care. The introduction of this legislation represents the beginning of a long process. As a next step, the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over revenue-related aspects of Medicare, will prepare to address their concerns with the bill when Congress returns from its August recess.
The introduction of the legislation also represents several months of collaboration among the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the broader physician community, and the congressional committees. View the ACS input regarding the legislation at http://www.facs.org/ahp/medicare/index.html . The ACS maintains that physicians can play a leadership role in the development of any new payment system. The ACS will provide updates on the progress and potential components of the new payment system.